Tiger Woods falters as 5 tie for British Open lead


CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, July 22 (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy stormed into a five-way tie for the lead in a compelling final round of the British Open at Carnoustie on Sunday as Tiger Woods's victory hopes faded.

The Northern Irishman had struggled all day, as had virtually every other player in stiff breezes, but he celebrated wildly after sinking an eagle at the par-five 14th.

The four-time major winner made par at the 15th to stay on six-under, along with overnight leaders Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, and Francesco Molinari and Kevin Chappell.

A charging Woods had taken the lead with nine holes to play as the leaders suffered in the testing winds.

Three-times British Open champion Woods began the day four shots adrift of Spieth, Schauffele and Kevin Kisner.

The 42-year-old, who won the last of his 14 majors a decade ago, has rolled back the clock at Carnoustie and after a sizzling third-round 66 he was at it again.

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He played the opening nine holes in 34 strokes, sinking birdies at the fourth and sixth.

However, his challenge faded with a double-bogey at the 11th after finding the rough off the tee and duffing a chip. He then dropped back to four-under with another bogey at the 12th.

Spieth and Schauffele had begun steadily but both came to grief with bogeys on the fifth.

When Spieth double-bogeyed the next after needing a penalty drop out of a gorse bush and Schauffele followed suit with a double on the seventh, Woods found himself leading a major on a Sunday for the first time since 2011.

Molinari carded 13 straight pars as he stayed on course for his first major.

The predicted winds materialized on cue to add an extra ingredient to what was already looking like a thrilling climax.

Only four of the first 60 players to complete their rounds on Sunday carded a sub-70 round. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond)