One of the players lurking in the pack behind the three leaders is Tiger Woods - the 14-time major champion whose decline as a force has coincided with Spieth's meteoric rise.
Despite a spectacular surge, Woods' run at the trophy and his 15th major championship was spoiled by a double bogey on No. 11 and bogey on 12. It was Woods' best showing in a major championship since his fourth-place finish at the 2013 Masters in the United States.
Tiger Woods was on the range, preparing to tee off on the weekend at the British Open for the first time since 2014 at Hoylake. But 69 was the low score among the first 22 players out in Sunday's final round as the breeze was blowing 15-20 miles per hour.
"I think yesterday was probably tied with today, in my mind, to get back into a golf tournament from being out of it, and then today to springboard that into pole position", he said.
The Swede, who played one of the finest rounds in Open history when he shot 63 on the Sunday at Royal Troon two years ago, carded a 69 after going out in group nine. He walked to the next tee with a one-shot lead. "Then ask me again".
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Tiger Woods has parred his first two holes and remains four shots back from Spieth, Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, who shared the third-round lead at 9-under. Another American Kevin Chappell (67) is two shots off the lead with Italy's Francesco Molinari (65) on six under alone in fifth.
"Right now my thoughts are I'm delighted", Rose said.
"Even though he's won 14, you have to learn how to get back", said McIlroy whose last major was in 2014.
He got one back on the par five-14th but his playing partner - and eventual champion - Francesco Molinari also birdied to take him two shots ahead of the American. "I would imagine it's going to be more of a grind all day", he said of the final round.
And the Olympic champion carried on where he left off on Saturday, taking advantage of benign conditions to fire seven more birdies to match the 64s recorded by Steve Stricker and Richard Green the last time Carnoustie staged the Open in 2007. "With how he's played this year, there's just maybe a little more belief".
Kisner (74) parred the final four holes to join Schauffele (74) in a tie for second with Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy at six-under 278. He missed a short birdie putt and tapped in for par to finish off his final-round 71.
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He did birdie the par-5 14th to remain within two and did have a 6-footer for birdie to tie the clubhouse lead at 6 under, but that was with Molinari facing a 4-footer for birdie to get in at 8 under. However, it proved to be a false dawn as three dropped shots in two holes saw him fall behind and in the end the 14-time major victor was being consoled by his two children.
"I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. If I could just keep hitting the ball the way I did today and putt a little bit better, tomorrow will be a better day", he added.
"Unfortunately in golf there's only one victor, this time it's me!"
Jordan Spieth was tied for the lead at Carnoustie as he tries to become the first repeat victor in 10 years at the British Open.
"Some of Sean's philosophical stuff has really hit home with me", he explained.
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