England's Lee Westwood held a two-stroke lead over world number one Tiger Woods after the third round of the British Open.

Westwood shot a round of 70 at Muirfield on Saturday, giving him a three-under-par total of 210 for the tournament so far.

Woods, who fired a 72, shares is second place of one-under with fellow American Hunter Mahan, whose score of 68 equalled the best round of the day.

They were the only three players to remain under par after 54 holes, with Westwood and Woods playing together as the penultimate pairing and duelling it out until Westwood birdied the 17th hole, which Woods fell foul to a bogey.

At the start of the day Jimenez of Spain was leading by one with Woods, Westwood, Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson close behind.

In the space of two holes Woods was ahead thanks to a 18-foot birdie putt followed by a missed four-footer from Jimenez minutes later.

Westwood then went on a charge, sinking an eagle from the edge of the fifth green and adding a birdie at the seventh to lead by three.

He bogeyed the next two holes, and he and Woods made the turn tied at two under.

Westwood nudged ahead again thanks to a majestic mid-iron approach shot to six feet at the 14th, but a wayward four-iron at the par-three 16th saw the duo back level again.

The decider came at the par-five 17th where Woods bunkered his second and took a bogey while Westwood chipped and single-putted for a birdie and a two-stroke swing.

Joint second-place Mahan rebuffed statements that he was seeking redemption for his ryder cup loss against Graeme McDowell at Celtic Manor in 2010, which handed the trophy to the European team.

"I don't play golf for revenge or to make up for anything.

"I'm playing because I really like to play and it's the ultimate challenge playing major golf.

"So that's the only thing I'm worried about."

Final day

Mahan will go out with Westwood in the final pairing on Sunday while Woods will partner Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia, who was alone on level par after a 70.

The leaderboard for the final day of the Open, on Sunday, boasts a plethora of highly decorated golfers, with 13 Ryder or President Cup representatives, three players who have won multiple majors, and five more who have at least one major title.

A quartet of Swede Henrik Stenson (74), Angel Cabrera of Argentina (73), and Americans Zach Johnson (73) and Ryan Moore (72) all finished the third day on one-over.

Still well in contention were four-time major winner Phil Mickelson, who had a 72 to stand at two over, level with Francesco Molinari (72), with Sergio Garcia (68), Brandt Snedeker (69) and Jason Day (72) among those perched on three over.

Defending champion Ernie Els had a 70 to get to five over.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies