Singh, the frisky fox who is not out of the hunt yet

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The Open, however, is not over quite just yet. Retief Goosen threw away a three-shot final-round lead at the US equivalent at Pinehurst last month, a historical strand to which all but one of the remaining field are now clinging.

Vijay Singh, at least, knows what it is like to catch and pass Tiger Woods. The Fijian was the man who ended Woods' four-year reign at the top of the US PGA money list. Now Singh, who is on six under, must do it again as he continues his quest for a career Grand Slam. The two Opens are missing.

"It [the Slam] is one of the hardest things to do, but it's in the back of my mind," the world No2 said yesterday.

"I'm in a very good position to do it. I'm playing well. This would be one of the nicest ones to get, but I'm very patient. I'll just go out and play the course.

"Look at Retief at the US Open. You never thought he'd mess up, the way he was playing. I'm not worried about Tiger. I'll just go out and shoot as low as possible over the weekend."

One shot further back is Sergio Garcia.

He said: "I feel like I played really well the first two days but didn't get the most out of my rounds. I hit a lot of putts that looked like they would go in but they didn't. I guess I should be at least nine under. I'm definitely happy to be under par and be in a good position at the moment and I'll wait to see what happens.

"If I get it going with the putter I can really shoot a low round as I'm striking the ball well and making lots of good shots."

Also on five under is Freddie Couples. "I need to go out and attack the course," the American said. "I can't play like I did today. I was slightly timid.

"It was pretty interesting at 11. I ended up not really hurting myself but my back gave out. I never hit a shot like that in my life.

"It wasn't much fun for the next four or five holes with an iron because I thought I was going to shank every shot.

"Now I know what an amateur feels like."

133 Tiger Woods (US)

138 Trevor Immelman (SA), Vijay Singh (Fiji), Brad Faxon (US), Peter Lonard (Aus), Jose Maria Olazabal (Sp), Robert Allenby (Aus)

139 Sergio Garcia (Sp), Fred Couples (US), Bo Van Pelt (US), Bart Bryant (US)

140 Richard Green (Aus), Hiroyuki Fujita (Japan), John Daly (US), Stuart Appleby (Aus), *Edoardo Molinari (It), Tim Clark (SA), Thomas Levet (Fr)

141 Ernie Els (SA), Phil Mickelson (US), Henrik Stenson (Swe), Fredrik Jacobson (Swe), Graeme McDowell, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Sp), Thongchai Jaidee (Thai), Simon Dyson, Sandy Lyle, Retief Goosen (SA), Luke Donald

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