"They call it "Car-nasty" for a reason, " he said after signing for his 1-under-par 70. You can't get upset.
Dustin Johnson wasn't alone in his struggle this week. He turned in 41 and eventually stumbled to a 78 and missed the cut, which fell at four over. Spieth would certainly like this weekend to finish this way.
Schauffele will be in the last pairing with Spieth after rolling in a long birdie putt on No. 18 for a 4-under 67.
It had been 2,226 days since Tiger Woods had led at the end of a round at a major, but for a short while at the British Open on Saturday it looked like he might do just that going into the final day.
Tommy Fleetwood was wet and he was exhausted, but most of all he was smiling.
Rory McIlroy, pledging to "go down swinging" to rid himself of a bad Masters memory this year, had another 69 and was part of a large group two shots behind. After carding a 6-under round of 65, Spieth has come back from a shaky start of his Open defense to record what he feels are back-to-back rounds which rival the best he has ever put together. With two hours left in the third round, Woods was three shots off the lead and in contention for his first major in 10 years.
Spieth said that while Saturday's round was spectacular it was his gritty effort on Friday that was "huge".
"I've always wanted to battle it out with Tiger in a major - who hasn't?"
The par-71 seaside links represented a very different challenge to the first round, with the players taking much longer clubs off the tee as the earlier bone-dry fairways suddenly became a thing of the past.
"We've been fortunate with the conditions. I may not play well, but I'm going to go out and fight". "We're going to just keep trying to get after it".
McIlroy made his splash on the worldwide stage as an 18-year-old amateur when the Open was last staged at Carnoustie in 2007, and he spoke in the build-up about how he hoped to rekindle some of that boyish enthusiasm. The greens held shots a little better.
Kisner hit 5-iron off the first tee Thursday. He hit 3-wood Friday. Kevin Kisner, the 18-hole leader, was among the late starters.
Ominously for the others who will start with high hopes on Sunday, Spieth appears to have played his way into top form with impeccable timing. Nothing is off limits.
Best yet, he's feeling a bit like the Tiger of old.
Thomas will have one of the horror stories.
But not necessarily at the British Open.
"I got a couple of good breaks but I wouldn't say I drew on anything except the adjustments I've made during the week in my game to feel more comfortable over the ball". Obviously, they had Patrick Reed to follow and they had me.
Norris, ranked 125th in the world, played with the American 14-time major champion for the first time and predicted his rise back to the top of world golf was imminent.
Kisner is no stranger to pressure at a major. "I was very, very fortunate that it got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green". "I've had a career's worth in a few years", said Spieth, who admitted he found it "difficult" to hand over the Claret Jug when he arrived in Carnoustie on Monday.