Brian Harman admitted it would be foolish not to think about winning his maiden major title as he headed into the final day at Royal Liverpool with a five-shot lead.
Only two players in history have squandered such an advantage after 54 holes, Macdonald Smith in the last Open staged at Prestwick in 1925 and Jean van de Velde at Carnoustie in 1999.
Harman, who led by one at the same stage of the 2017 US Open before finishing second behind Brooks Koepka, said: “You’d be foolish not to envision (lifting the Claret Jug) and I’ve thought about winning majors for my whole entire life.
“It’s the whole reason I work as hard as I do and why I practise as much as I do and why I sacrifice as much as I do.
“If that’s going to come to fruition for me (on Sunday), it has to be all about the golf. It has to be execution and just staying in the moment.”
Harman’s nearest challenger was fellow American and last year’s runner-up Cameron Young, with Masters champion Jon Rahm another stroke back after storming through the field with a flawless 63.
Home favourite Tommy Fleetwood was part of a five-strong group, which included Viktor Hovland and Jason Day, starting the final round seven off the pace.
Shot of the day
Antoine Rozner carded his second 67 of the week with the aid of an eagle on the par-five 15th.
Round of the day
Rahm only made the cut with a shot to spare, but stormed into contention thanks to a stunning 63, by two shots the lowest ever recorded in an Open at Royal Liverpool.
Quote of the day
“I hear a lot of Ricky, Ricky’s out there. Yeah, I look like him. Handsome fella” – Brian Harman when asked about his resemblance to former Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting.
Statistic of the day
Only two players have lost a five-hole lead with 18 holes to play in the history of the Open Championship.
The par-five fifth played as the easiest for the third day running, with one eagle and 32 birdies contributing to a scoring average of 4.632.
The 14th was again the most difficult hole with a scoring average of 4.171, with just eight of the 76-man field making birdie, 16 making a bogey and 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen running up a triple-bogey seven.
Cloudy with spells of moderate rain, likely heavy at times, especially early morning. Cloudy with outbreaks of light or moderate rain from noon onwards, with winds around 15mph.
Key tee times
1300 Emiliano Grillo, Rory McIlroy
1345 Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka
1355 Jason Day, Antoine Rozner
1405 Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm
1415 Cameron Young, Brian Harman