Jason Day has held his nerve during a painstaking second round of the British Open to further bolster Australia’s high hopes at St Andrews.
Day rebounded from successive bogeys between two suspensions of play to eke out an impressive second-round 71 on Saturday to join Scott (67) at seven-under for the championship.
The star duo are in a six-way tie for fourth spot, trailing American halfway leader Dustin Johnson by just three shots entering the final two rounds.
Extreme winds that forced a 10-and-a-half-hour stoppage on Saturday, after a three-hour rain delay on Friday, has forced Royal & Ancient officials to make the momentous decision to finish the Open on a Monday for only the second time in more than a century.
But Day, Scott and a host of other Australians won’t mind as they look to make a run at the Claret Jug.
Geoff Ogilvy (68) and Steven Bowditch (69) are five-under and right in the mix, with Matt Jones (73) and Greg Chalmers (72) at three-under and not out of it sitting seven shots adrift of the lead.
Facing a nervy six-footer for par on the resumption of his second round on Saturday morning, Day faltered before dropping another shot with another short miss at the 13th as brutal winds lashed the Old Course.
Day was wretchedly unlucky to hear the horn sound moments after the miss, signalling a second suspension of play.
But the three-times major runner-up retained his composure during an all-day wait before continuing his round at 6pm local time.
He holed a series of clutch putts for par before collecting a priceless birdie at the short par-4 last.
Day, who heroically finished ninth at last month’s US Open while battling vertigo, admitted the brutal conditions made for another tough major championship grind.
“It can be frustrating if you let it,” said the world No.9.
“But I want to win a major so bad I can’t afford to let if frustrate me.
“I’m not going to stop fighting until it’s over.
“Overall I’m very pleased with how this panned out thus far.”
Brett Rumford is two-under after successive 71s, Marcus Fraser (69) and Marc Leishman (73) are both one-under, while John Senden (72) and Scott Arnold (71) also made the halfway cut right on the even-par number.
Arnold, the 29-year-old world No.631, was particularly impressive.
The New South Welshman reeled off four straight birdies on the back nine in Saturday’s gruelling conditions to memorably survive the cut on his major championship debut at golf’s spiritual home.