Lee Westwood will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the 142nd Open Championship after a rollercoaster third day at Muirfield.

That means Tiger Woods will have to make history to win his 15th major title and deny the Englishman a first at the 62nd attempt after failing to keep pace with his playing partner on a dramatic afternoon.

Westwood carded an eagle and three birdies in a round of 70 that left him atop the leaderboard on three under par, with Woods (72) and fellow American Hunter Mahan (68) the only other players in red figures on one under.

Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell are best of the Irish, both on six over, after rounds of 76 and 73 respectively. 

Shane Lowry is on ten over after a 75 while Padraig Harrington is two shots further back after his 77.

"I know what to do, I know what it take" - Lee Westwood

Masters champion Adam Scott, who 12 months ago squandered a four-shot lead with four holes to play at Lytham, was another shot behind on level par, with Sweden's Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson, Angel Cabrera and Ryan Moore another stroke back.

"I know what to expect tomorrow," Westwood said. "I know what to do, I know what it takes.

"It's just a case of believing you are good enough to win.

"When you analyse it, you don't want to say it, but tomorrow is just another 18 holes. I'm playing well and putting well and there's no reason why I can't carry on."