Adam Scott takes a four-shot lead into the final round of the 2012 Open Championship, after shooting a 68, two-under-par, at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. It was a performance of calm control, harnessed power, and clutch putting.

The Australian will play in the final pair in the fourth round of a major for the first time tomorrow, in the company of Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, who shot 67 today to strengthen his own bid for the Claret Jug.

“I think 68 pretty accurately reflects the way I played,” said Scott after his round. “I certainly made a couple of nice putts. I may have left a few chances out there, but it was all pretty solid stuff, considering the circumstances and how much trouble there is on this golf course.”

Scott extended his form from the first two days, posting three birdies in the space of four holes in the middle of his round to surge to a lead that was five shots wide once Scott had holed his third birdie putt, on the par-five 11th. His eagle putt at 11 was only inches short.

With an eventual four shot advantage, 32-year-old Scott has played in 12 previous Opens and he knows not to think too far ahead, particularly as the winds are expected the stiffen on Sunday for the first time since the practice days.

“A four-shot lead doesn’t mean a lot,” added Scott. “The good part is if I play a solid round of golf tomorrow, it will be very hard for the others to beat me, and that’s all I’m thinking about.”

The Open’s halfway leader, American Brandt Snedeker, fell into a state of bewilderment midway through his round. He did not record a single bogey over the first two rounds, but once Snedeker had finally let a shot slip at the 5th hole today, his challenge was in danger of unraveling completely. However, birdies and the 16th and 18th holes kept Snedeker in the frame for his first Major title.

Ominously for the leading trio, Tiger Woods lurks just a shot behind McDowell and Snedeker, and the former world number one will play with Snedeker in the penultimate pair, teeing off at 2:20 (GMT). Scott and McDowell go at 2:30.

Story courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, patron of the 2012 Open Championship. The new
Mercedes-Benz City Golf App is now available on iTunes.