Second-round leader Colin Montgomerie struggled to a 1-over 73. He was joined in second place at 8-under-par 208 by Ricardo Gonzalez and Henrik Stenson. Pierre Fulke is one stroke further back at minus-7 after a 72, while Paul Casey is alone in sixth at 6-under-par 210.
The dunhill links is much like the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the U.S. PGA Tour, as players are paired with amateurs for the first three rounds and spread over three courses. The top-20 amateur teams advanced to Sunday's final round.
Three courses were used for the first three rounds -- the Old Course at St. Andrews Golf Club, Carnoustie Golf Club and Kingsbarns Golf Links. The final round will be played at St. Andrews.
Early in Saturday's third round, Ferrie and Montgomerie were battling for the lead before Ferrie took over on the back nine. Ferrie birdied the third to get to minus-9 and within one of Montgomerie.
Ferrie, who was playing the Old Course, birdied the fifth from 5 feet out to take the lead at 10 under as Montgomerie bogeyed the fifth at Kingsbarns.
Montgomerie birdied the sixth to get back to minus-10, but bogeyed the next. Ferrie bogeyed No. 8 to create a tie at minus-9, but bounced back with a birdie on nine, while Montgomerie got back to 10 under with a 5-foot birdie putt in the 11th.
It was all Ferrie from there. He converted back-to-back birdie chances from the 11th to move to 12 under. The 27-year-old then birdied the 15th.
Ferrie, who won the European Open earlier this year, dropped in a birdie putt on the 16th to move to minus-14, six strokes clear of three players. The Englishman missed a six-foot par putt on the 17th to slip back to 13 under.
He parred the last to lead by five entering the final round. Three of the first four winners here have led or were co-leaders entering the final round.
'I am a pretty fiery guy. I've shot 68-68-67 this week and just finished three-putt, three-putt,' Ferrie said. 'Even though I'm leading the tournament by five, by the standards I've set for myself that's not good enough. I know in that wind it's very tough, but it's something you can't afford to be doing. Three-putting greens in my eyes is just giving shots away.'
Montgomerie dropped a shot at the 15th. His tee ball missed the green and he ran his chip well past the pin. As he started to approach his par putt, the wind blew the ball across the green. After conferring with a rules official, Montgomerie played the ball where it came to rest after the wind blew it. He then two-putted for bogey.
On the par-4 17th, the Scotsman drove into a pot bunker and was forced to lay up. He knocked his third to the back edge of the green, but two-putted for bogey to fall back to 8 under.
Stenson, like Montgomerie, played at Kingsbarns on Saturday. He ran off three straight birdies from the second to jump to minus-4. He turned at 6 under thanks to birdies on the sixth and eighth.
Around the turn, Stenson birdied the 11th and 12th. He got to 9 under as his birdie try on the 15th found the bottom of the cup. However, Stenson bogeyed the next before ending with consecutive pars.
'I was very pleased with pars on the last two holes, especially on the 18th, where I had a bad stance in the bunker at the back of the green,' said Stenson. 'My birdie on 15 was also very important, as the last four holes were always going to be a struggle in these conditions.'
Gonzalez played the front nine at St. Andrews at even-par with a birdie and a bogey. On the back nine, he wrapped birdies at the 12th and 14th around a bogey on 13. Gonzalez parred out to stay at minus-8.
Martin Doyle posted a 6-under 66 on Saturday. That helped him climb into a share of seventh place at 5-under-par 211. He was joined there by Richard Green, Padraig Harrington, Soren Kjeldsen and Lee Westwood.
Defending champion Stephen Gallacher recovered from a shaky first two rounds with a 5-under 67 Saturday to get to minus-three.