The Woods of 2015 will probably be happy just to make the cut at the 'Home of Golf', or even just a few fairways as he wrestles to master another rebuilt swing in the wake of woeful rounds of 80 and 76 at last month's U.S. Open.

In 2000, however, he played with such controlled precision that he caressed his ball around 72 holes of the Old Course in Scotland without once finding the myriad killer bunkers that repeatedly caught out his rivals.

The American had gone into the tournament with his confidence and reputation sky high after putting together a six-tournament winning streak, the longest since compatriot Ben Hogan in 1948.

One of them was the 2000 U.S. Open, where he broke or tied nine tournament records including his astonishing winning margin of 15 shots.

That triumph was his third different major and, at 24, he needed the British Open to become the youngest to complete a career grand slam.

He opened with a five-under-par 67 at St Andrews, trailing Ernie Els by a shot, but was three clear of compatriot David Toms on Friday night after adding a 66.

Relentlessly accurate on the Saturday he posted another 67 to head into the final day six ahead of Thomas Bjorn and David Duval.

Totally in the zone and in complete command of his clubs and the terrain, Woods could not have positioned his ball better had he walked the course and placed it each time by hand.

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