Marc Leishman is making a phenomenal surge towards what would be an emotional British Open victory at St Andrews.
The Victorian has continued on from his eight-under 64 in the third round to be seven under through 13 holes and 16 under for the championship, good enough for a one-shot lead over American Zach Johnson.
Three months after almost quitting golf to be a grieving fulltime father as wife Audrey fought for her life in a Virginia Beach hospital, Leishman is a handful of holes from clearly the biggest win of his life.
Battling toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening respiratory infection, Audrey was given less than five per cent chance of surviving and Leishman braced for the worst, missing the masters to be by her side.
But now he is bidding to become Australia’s first British Open champion since Greg Norman in 1993.
Johnson is 15 under through 16 holes while compatriot Jason Day and grand slam hopeful Jordan Spieth sit 14 under through 12 holes.
Day is two under on his round after having held the overnight co-lead.
2010 St Andrews winner Louis Ooosthuizen is also 14 under through 11 holes.
Adam Scott seems to have blown his chances after an earlier surge.
Scott took down the opening nine at the Old Course in a five-under 31 and then birdied the 10th to jump to 15 under for the tournament through 13 holes and take a share of the lead.
But a bogey on the 14th and then an inexplicable missed putt from one foot on the 15th has buried him back to 13 under with just three to play.
It brings back the demons of 2012 when he bogeyed the final four holes to cough up a four shot lead.
Leishman, a day removed from his tournament-best 64, birdied the first, third, fourth, fifth, ninth, 10th and 12th holes to have now played his last 28 holes in 15 under.
Grand slam hopeful Spieth wasted no time in making his presence felt, hitting it in tight on the first and ramming home a birdie to get to 12 under.
Further birdies on the fifth and sixth had him primed before a four-putt double bogey on the eighth stalled his hopes.
A birdie on nine and 10 has him two back at 14 under.
The last Australian to win the British Open was Greg Norman at Sandwich in 1993, but the last Australian to win at St Andrews was the late Kel Nagle in 1960.
Marcus Fraser (-7), Steven Bowditch (-6), Matt Jones (-6), Geoff Ogilvy (-5), John Senden (-5), Scott Arnold (-5), Greg Chalmers (-3), Brett Rumford (E) round out the Australian tilt.