GULLANE, Scotland (AP) -- Never has a British Open seemed so wide open. Never before has one player seemed so ready to win.
With a leaderboard so crowded even Tiger Woods had trouble getting his name in, the British Open goes into a wet weekend looking like anyone's tournament.
At least that's the way it would look if Woods wasn't lurking just two shots back. Because he is, all bets are off.
"Golf is a four day sport," said co-leader Shigeki Maruyama, "So in the end I'm sure he'll be on top of me."
Woods teed off in blustery conditions Saturday, trying to catch five players from four continents who shared the midway lead in an Open that is truly living up to its name.
Eleven others were within two shots of the lead but faced a third round under difficult weather conditions. It rained on and off most of the day Saturday, but by the time Woods teed off the rain was coming down steady and the wind was starting to blow.
Woods walked to the first tee holding an umbrella over his head, then promptly hit an iron into the deep rough to the right of the first fairway. Woods was playing with his friend and neighbor, Mark O'Meara, the 1998 Open champion.
Phil Mickelson, meanwhile, shot himself out of contention with a second straight 76 that left him at 7 over. Mickelson finished 2-3-2 in the last three majors, but barely made the cut in this one even after opening with a 69.
"I just haven't played well and I've had a difficult week," Mickelson said.
Saturday had true British Open weather, and it was welcomed by Woods, who prides himself on playing well in bad weather.
"If it blows it's going to get interesting," said Woods, who is chasing the third leg of a historic grand slam.
The day before, Woods shot a nearly mistake-free 68 and was pleased with where he was on the leaderboard.
Topping the list is an eclectic group of players who managed to find different ways to get to 6-under par midway through the season's third major championship.
Ernie Els got there by shooting a 29 on the front nine before fading coming in and finishing with a 66. Maruyama got there while playing with Woods and matching his 68.
They were joined by Duffy Waldorf, Padraig Harrington and Bob Tway on top of the most crowded leaderboard in a major since six players shared the second-round lead in the U.S. Open.
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