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“"It's just one of those things where you've got to find out if you have some guts or don't," he said. "I could have packed up and gone home today, but I didn't." Scott was becoming a forgotten star until he switched to the long putter in February of last year, and it has been the biggest reason for the turnaround -- his runner-up at the Masters last year, winning his first World Golf Championship at Firestone, and now on the cusp of his first major. Showing nerves on the opening tee, he hit into a bunker and played a beautiful shot from the back of the wet sand to 8 feet, holing the putt for par. Scott made another par putt from the same distance on the third hole. And in the middle of his run of birdies -- including a 30-foot putt on the eighth -- he escaped with par on the 10th hole by making one from 18 feet. "To make a nice putt like that on the first and make par is obviously very settling," Scott said. "And then to do the same thing on 3, that's been a hole that I haven't parred this week. From there on, I was very settled into the round and started hitting fairways and greens." He played it safe on the back nine, giving himself a few good looks, but mostly making sure he didn't get into position for big numbers. "That's what I felt I needed to do," Scott said. "I didn't need to take any risks out there." The only drama left at the end of the round was the size of Scott's lead and whether Woods could get into the final group for another reunion with Williams, the caddie he fired last summer in a split that remains acrimonious. McDowell took care of that with a late surge, starting with birdies on the 13th and 14th holes, and a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th. "I kind of felt the tournament perhaps slipping away from me a little bit and really had to dig deep for some patience," McDowell said. "From about the 14th tee onwards, it's probably about as good as I've swung the club all week." Snedeker's bogey-free streak -- the longest to start a major championship since at least 1995 -- ended with a three-putt from just short of the fifth green, and it spiraled from there. With his ball a foot away from a 4-foot bunker wall, he played back toward the fairway and hit a superb pitch from 40 yards to escape with bogey on the sixth. After that, nothing went his way until the end of the round. He will be in the penultimate group with Woods, who has rallied to win from five shots behind -- but never in a major. It probably would help for the wind to arrive, although Woods is skeptical about the forecast. Perhaps his best chance is for Scott to struggle with his nerves while going for his first major. "He's been out here a long time," said Woods, who once shared a coach (Butch Harmon) with Scott. "And he's won a Players Championship. I don't think he's really done probably as well as he'd like to in major championships. But I think that he's maturing in his game, and I think over the last year or so he's really improved his game." Scott turned pro a dozen years ago and was billed as the young Australian who swung the club like Woods. He's poised to become the first Aussie since Greg Norman in 1993 to get his name on the Claret Jug. But this has been a tough year for 54-hole leaders. Five players have rallied from deficits of at least six shots to win, a peculiar trend that Snedeker started at Torrey Pines in January. "A four-shot lead doesn't seem to be very much this year on any golf tournament that I've watched," Scott said. "That doesn't mean a lot. 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." It's best that he not think about how his fellow Aussies have fared. Scott is the fourth Australian to have a 54-hole lead in a major dating to the 2007 Masters. None of the other tree -- Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley and Norman -- left with the trophy.
It will be in Adam's hands tomorrow if the conditions are as straightforward as they have been the last few days. Throw a bit of wind across this course like perhaps they are forecasting, he will have to go and work a lot harder and he will have to go win it.” -- Graeme McDowell