Even defending champion Jordan Spieth seemed ordinary, in a round where he was doing some extraordinary things.
The athlete will look to unseat last year's British Open victor, Jordan Spieth.
Fourteen-time major victor Tiger Woods registered a second level-par 71 but Justin Thomas (77), the world's second-ranked player, failed to make the weekend on 146.
He earned the 54-hole lead at a major for the sixth time in his young career, giving himself a chance of becoming the first since Woods in 2005-06 to win back-to-back titles at the Open.
Rory McIlroy had another 69 and was two shots behind.
This is the 16th time he has been in at least a share of the lead in the majors in the five years he has been playing them on a regular basis.
McIlroy, meanwhile, was within one shot until a long three-putt from just off the 12th green. He had trailed by just two with three holes to play, but late stumbles left him frustrated. "I felt like it was an opportunity to score well".
Ian Poulter, who missed the cut, tweeted a screen-grab of the leaderboard with Woods" name on top, and wrote: "I can't say I've ever been so excited for Tiger Woods before. And yet, his ridiculously hot start couldn't help but garner the attention of the golf world.
Woods then fired a lovely second shot into the 10th hole, one of the finest shots of the tournament so far.
"I've just been clueless on these greens unfortunately, and that's surprising because I've been putting really well; just haven't come to terms with the surfaces this week".
While some players thrive and use bad weather to their advantage, the former world No. 1, now ranked eighth, has not coped well when the elements have turned nasty. After all, Paul Lawrie was in the clubhouse and three strokes adrift when the leader stepped on the 18th tee in 1999.
Brussels urges contingency plans for no Brexit deal
Varadkar told Irish media on Wednesday. "We [EU] have to be calm and prudent not to put oil on the fire", the official said. It's going to be quite a baptism of fire for the UK's new Brexit secretary on his first visit to Brussels in the new job.
Tiger Woods set the British Open alight with a vintage six-under 66 in Saturday's third round but he no longer possesses the fear factor that will send a shiver down the spine of his rivals, according to Tony Jacklin.
"That was good. I played well today".
T6. Alex Noren (-5): A somewhat loose round from Noren was held together by a handful of huge putts.
In 2007, Padraig Harrington trailed by six strokes heading in the final round here and emerged victorious.
It was all pars and a solitary birdie on the front nine but the journey home was riveting.
That is what makes Woods' performance at The Open - after missing the last two - all the more remarkable.
His strategy is to be aggressive.
"It was so damp and cold enough, the game plan I was trying to adapt to be aggressive and hit driver a lot, I couldn't do it". "Maybe I'm just overly conservative and boring, and that's perfectly fine", he said. I'm still in the tournament.
"There were a few shots I hit poorly out there".
If you like a little bit of Sunday drama on your major championship menu, this is one to devour with pleasure.
With so many variables - and wannabe pretenders to the throne - in the mix for Sunday, McIlroy said he has a target score in mind.