Adam Scott is on the verge of his first major title on Sunday as the final round of the 141st British Open begins at Royal Lytham with the Australian leader four strokes clear of the field.
Six days after his 32nd birthday, Scott could capture the Claret Jug and fulfill the promise seen by many in his game since he turned professional 12 years ago by breaking through in his 46th major start and 13th British Open.
"He was almost World No. 1 a couple of years ago," noted rival Ernie Els. "His game left him a bit but he seems like he really dedicated himself to the game then. He has got all the talent in the world. Really great player."
But plenty of last-day drama was yet to play out over the bunker-strewn links layout, including forecasts of brisk wind gusts off the Irish Sea just as Scott tees off in the last duo with 2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell.
"A four-shot lead doesn't seem to be very much this year on any golf tournament that I've watched," Scott said. "The good part is if I play a solid round of golf, it will be very hard for the others to beat me."
Adam Scott (right) of Australia shakes hands with Brandt Snedeker of the US on the 18th green after their third round at the British Open Golf Championship. Scott is on the verge of his first major title on Sunday as the final round of the 141st British Open began at Royal Lytham with the Australian leader four strokes clear of the field.
McDowell, a runner-up last month at the US Open, and 36-hole leader Brandt Snedeker of the United States were four adrift.
Tiger Woods, a 14-time major champion seeking his first major title since the 2008 US Open, was five strokes adrift with South Africa's Els, a three-time major winner, and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson six strokes off the pace.
"Adam is in a great spot right now. He has got a four-shot lead and he's playing really well," Woods said.
"He has been out here a long time. I don't think he has really done probably as well as he would like to in major championships. But he's maturing in his game and over the last year or so he has really improved."
Darren Clarke holds the Claret Jug after winning the 2012 British Open Golf championship. Australia's Adam Scott could capture the Claret Jug on Sunday
Scott, who took a bogey at 18 on Monday to settle for a course-record six-under par 64, would be the 16th different winner in the past 16 majors and the third in the past four majors to use a long belly-style putter.
"He has got Tiger on his tails and there's a lot of golf left to be played, but Adam Scott -- my God, he's got the best swing in the world, technically. I don't know how he ever plays bad," 1989 British Open winner Mark Calcavecchia said.
"He's putting better with the long one. He's just multitalented. So it's no surprise, really. Whenever he plays good, it's like, well, it's about time, where has he been? I expect him to play good every week."
Scott has won six times in eight situations where he has led entering the final round of a tournament, with his most recent triumph being at last year's World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
Scott would become the fifth Australian to capture the British Open, the first since Greg Norman in 1993. Others include Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle and Ian Baker-Finch.