The Open: Miguel Angel Jimenez leads, with Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood one back
Miguel Angel Jimenez will take a one-shot lead into the weekend of the Open after another tough day at Muirfield.
Last Updated: 20/07/13 10:01am
The Spanish veteran, aiming to become the oldest winner of a major title in history, kept his composure to fire a rock-solid 71 and head a high-quality leaderboard on three under par.
But the 49-year-old will be wary of the threat of world No 1 Tiger Woods, who also carded a 71 to end the day within a shot of the leader alongside Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson.
Westwood and playing partner Charl Schwartzel shot the best rounds of the day, a pair of excellent 68s, but world No 2 Rory McIlroy and US Open champion Justin Rose both failed to make the halfway cut despite the mark soaring to eight over par.
Stenson was the first man to set the early clubhouse target at two under after he recovered from a double-bogey at the sixth to return his second straight 70.
The Swede was soon joined by Westwood, who backed up his renowned, pure ball-striking with another encouraging performance on the parched greens as he raced to the turn in 31.
An exquisite approach to the 12th set up his sixth birdie of the day, but the fearsome inward stretch took its toll as he dropped shots at the next two before failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker at the last.
The difficulty of the hard and fast layout forced Woods into "grinding mode" as he scrambled hard for pars, mixing two birdies with three bogeys before signing off with a 10-foot putt for a closing three.
Johnson eagled the long fifth but blotted his card with five bogeys in his 72, while overnight leader Zach Johnson fell victim to the lightning quick greens late in the day as he dropped four shots in his last five holes to slip to one under after a 75.
The 2007 Masters champion had hit back with three bogeys in four holes with birdies at nine, 12 and 13 to regain his lead before faltering down the stretch.
Two-time major winner Angel Cabrera also enjoyed a spell at the top of the leaderboard after three birdies in a front-nine 34, but bogeys at 14, 15 and 18 sent him back to one under.
US-based Scot Martin Laird is also just two off the lead after an entertaining 71 which included a run of four consecutive birdies around the turn, while Rafael Cabrera-Bello (74) is the only other player under par.
The group at one over is littered with major champions, including Phil Mickelson as he stumbled to a 74 which featured two double-bogeys, while Masters champions Schwartzel, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson are also four off the lead.
Another at 143 is 2011 Open winner Darren Clarke, whose five-birdie 71 would have been substantially better had he not taken three shots to escape a bunker at the sixth to run-up an ugly eight.
Ian Poulter was the only man not to drop a shot on the back nine as he fired a 71 to join the one overs, but it was a tournament to forget for both McIlroy and Rose.
McIlroy dropped five shots in six holes in an outward 40 before salvaging a 75 to finish on 12 over, while Rose crashed to a 77 to close on 10 over and made only two birdies in 36 holes.