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Jordan Spieth hoping for hair-raising day with Tiger Woods after close shave

Defending Open champion got more than he bargained for at the local barber shop.

Defending Open champion Jordan Spieth may have had a close shave at the barbers but avoided any hairy moments on the course after firing himself into the lead.

The three-time major winner arrived at the Angus links on Saturday afternoon sporting a rather severe-looking short back and sides but a superb 65 catapulted him to nine under and set up a long-dreamed-about final-day tussle with a resurgent Tiger Woods.

While Spieth’s haircut initially drew attention – although his barber somehow managed not to recognise him – his brilliant golf and that of Woods was what really captured the attention on a thrilling third day at Carnoustie.

And the prospect of being stalked by Woods, just four shots back after a 66, is one Spieth is relishing, certainly more than his razor cut.

“I don’t even know where I went,” he said when asked whether he had just wandered into town in the downtime before his 4pm tee off.

“He went a little high and tight. It was intended to be what I normally get and instead he went a little shorter.

“A very British haircut: a little shaved on the sides, a little longer on top. It is what it is. Summertime, it works out.”

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Jordan Spieth admits his barber cut a little too close for his short back and sides on Saturday morning (Richard Sellers/PA).

Asked how much he paid he added: “£20 pounds, I think. It was like a £9 haircut and I tipped them.”

Spieth, who is tied for the lead on nine under with housemate Kevin Kisner and another American Xander Schauffele, admits he has always dreamed of being tested by Woods in a battle for one of golf’s elite titles.

The 14-time major winner is playing in his first Open for three years having missed all the majors in 2016 and 2017.

He and Spieth have only been in 12 majors together and of those only five have involved them both at the weekend – and even then they have not really been in contention against each other.

The closest they came at the 2015 Masters but Woods began the day 10 shots behind leader Spieth, who went on to win while his rival slumped to a tie for 17th.

“I’ve always wanted to battle it out in a major with Tiger. Who hasn’t?” said Spieth.

“I think I played it out at Augusta in my head. It’s kind of a dream come true just to have the opportunity.

“I saw he played pretty well today. I’m not surprised. He seemed confident walking off the putting green today, the little that we talked.

“It’s nice that he’s on point. It’s really good for the sport, obviously, for the extra interest.

“And the way that he’s striking those two or three irons, he’s certainly going to be in it tomorrow, which is really exciting for us.”

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