sunny.png
Saturday November 28th, 2020 12:23PM

Tiger Woods with 3-shot lead and 1 round away from winning

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA (AP) — Tiger Woods made it look and sound as if he had never been gone.

More than turning back time, every hole seemed like the one before Saturday at the Tour Championship. A tee shot striped down the middle of the fairway. The clean strike of an iron as he held his pose. A sonic boom of the cheers from around the green. Another birdie.

"I got off to an ideal start," Woods said. "And the next thing you know, I was off and running."

With the most dynamic golf he has played all year, Woods built a five-shot lead in seven holes before he cooled from there, settled for a 5-under 65 that gave him a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose and an ideal chance to end this comeback season with a moment that has defined his career.

Winning.

Woods has the 54-hole lead for the first time since his last victory in 2013 at the Bridgestone Invitational. He has never lost an official tournament when leading by more than two shots going into the final round, and his closing record with the lead is 42-2 on the PGA Tour.

He has never been in better position to show he's all the way back from four back surgeries that once made him fear he might never play again.

"I've gone through a lot this year to get myself to this point, and understanding and fighting my way through it," Woods said. "I'm certainly much more equipped than I was in March because of what I've gone through."

Wood was at 12-under 198 and will be paired for the first time in final group with McIlroy on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy birdied two of his last three holes for a 66.

"It's obviously exciting for the golf tournament. It's exciting for golf in general that he's up there," McIlroy said. "But for me, all I can do is concentrate on myself. The game is hard enough without looking at other people. Go out there, take care of my business, and hopefully that's good enough."

Rose started the third round tied with Woods, but not for long.

Rose opened with two straight bogeys before battling back, but the world's No. 1 player already was four shots behind after four holes. He narrowed the gap with a birdie on the 16th as Woods had to scramble for bogey, a two-shot swing.

"In some ways, it felt like a Sunday just with the energy," Rose said after a 68. "But I knew that it was halfway through a Saturday. Just wanted to sort of chisel a few back and give myself a chance going into tomorrow."

Rose forgot about Woods and tried to beat East Lake, a game of match play in his mind, in a bid to stay in the game. He wound up with a hard-earned 68.

There used to be no chance against Woods when he was atop the leaderboard going into the final round. His only losses with the 54-hole lead were the Quad City Classic in 1996 when he was 20 and making third start as a pro, and the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine against Y.E. Yang. He also lost a two-shot lead to Lee Westwood in Germany at a European Tour event in 2000.

Now?

Woods has gone more than five years without winning. He also has won enough times — 90 tournaments around the world — to remember how.

"It's a little more unknown now," Rose said. "Obviously, his history, his statistics from this point are impeccable. They're incredible. But he's human, and there's a lot on it for him tomorrow, as well as the rest of us."

Woods has had four finishes in the top 5, a runner-up by one shot at Innisbrook and by two shots at the PGA Championship. Only once this year, however, has he started the final round within closer than four shots of the lead.

Being up by three is a much better view.

"Simple math says that if I play a clean card, the guys behind me have to shoot 67 to force it into extra holes," Woods said. "That helps. I don't have to shoot 63 or 64 and hope I get help. This is a spot I'd much rather be in than four or five back."

The Saturday start was simply mesmerizing.

Woods poured in a 20-foot birdie putt on the first hole. His wedge settled 8 feet below the hole on No. 3. His 20-foot birdie putt on No. 4 tumbled into the center of the cup with perfect pace. Two short birdies followed. And when he finally missed a fairway at No. 7, Woods hit a 9-iron from the bunker that hopped out of the first cut to about 5 feet for a sixth birdie in seven holes.

The cheers were endless, and there was no doubting what was going on.

"I've heard the roars all day, and it's been phenomenal," Paul Casey said after his 66. "What an atmosphere it is out there this week."

Woods, however, made only one birdie over his last 11 holes, a wedge to 7 feet on No. 12. He missed badly on his tee shot at the par-3 ninth, and the shaggy rough to the right of the 16th fairway caused the face of his club to open, missing to the right. His flop shot didn't get up the hill and rolled back toward him, and his next pitch was a bump-and-run played to perfection that kept him from another double bogey.

McIlroy also started strong, and being in the group ahead of Woods, he knew exactly what was happening. On Sunday, he get a front-row seat. The only other time they were paired together in the fourth round was at the 2015 Masters, when both were 10 shots behind Jordan Spieth.

Rose won't be in the final group, but he has plenty on the line even if he doesn't catch Woods. He likely needs to finish in the top five to be assured of winning the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - PGA
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Arizona congressman blasts siblings who endorsed opponent
Six siblings of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar urged voters to cast their ballots against the Arizona Republican in November in an unusual political ad sponsored by the rival candidate
6:35PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Tiger Woods with 3-shot lead and 1 round away from winning
Tiger Woods builds a 3-shot lead and is on cusp of ending comeback season with a victory at Tour Championship.
6:34PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Militants attack Iran military parade, killing at least 25
Militants disguised as soldiers opened fire on an annual Iranian military parade in the country's oil-rich southwest, killing at least 25 people and wounding over 60 in the deadliest terror attack inside Iran in nearly a decade
6:31PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
No. 19 Michigan tops Nebraska 56-10, led 39-0 at halftime
Karan Higdon ran for 136 yards and a touchdown in the first half to help No. 19 Michigan build a huge lead and it coasted to a 56-10 win over Nebraska
5:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
No. 8 Notre Dame swaps quarterbacks, beats Wake Forest 56-27
Ian Book rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more, and No. 8 Notre Dame beat Wake Forest 56-27 on Saturday
4:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
No. 8 Notre Dame throws the Book at Wake Forest, wins 56-27
Ian Book rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more, and No. 8 Notre Dame beat Wake Forest 56-27 on Saturday
4:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Iowa State honors slain golfer before Akron game
Iowa State honored slain former golf star Celia Barquin Arozamena with an elaborate ceremony ahead of the Cyclones' game against Akron
12:18PM ( 6 hours ago )
Tiger Woods shares lead going into weekend at East Lake
Tiger on top at East Lake with a 68 to share the lead with Justin Rose going into the weekend of Tour Championship
9:35PM ( 21 hours ago )
Fisher shoots first 59 in European Tour history
English golfer Oliver Fisher has shot the first round of 59 in the 46-year history of the European Tour
3:07PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Golf
The Latest: US government condemns attack on Iran parade
U.S. officials are condemning the attack on an Iranian military parade that killed 25 people and wounded more than 60, saying that "the United States condemns all acts of terrorism and the loss of any innocent lives."
5:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
Kavanaugh accuser wants to talk to Senate; terms up in air
The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual assault has accepted a Senate committee's request to tell her side next week, according to her lawyers
5:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
Comcast beats Fox in Sky auction with $39B bid
Comcast beats Fox in rare auction for Sky TV with $39B bid
5:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: White House skeptical of Ford's offer to speak
The White House is casting doubt on the willingness of a college professor to speak publicly about her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh
3:31PM ( 3 hours ago )
Travel still dangerous amid flooding in parts North Carolina
Emergency officials say flooding remains 'treacherous' in parts of North and South Carolina more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall
3:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Kavanaugh accuser to tell her side to Senate
Lawyers for the woman who's accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault say they've accepted the Senate Judiciary Committee's request for her to tell her story
3:02PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
AP Interview: Bjorn excited to see Tiger Woods in Ryder Cup
AP Interview: Europe's Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn says Tiger Woods returning to the United States team will make golf's showdown even better
11:41AM ( 1 week ago )
Europe captain Bjorn excited to see Tiger Woods in Ryder Cup
Europe's Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn says Tiger Woods returning to the United States team will make golf's best event even better
9:50AM ( 1 week ago )
Bradley holds off Rose in playoff to win at Aronimink
Keegan Bradley holds off Justin Rose in sudden-death playoff to win rain-plagued BMW Championship for 1st PGA Tour victory in 6 years
7:21PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - PGA
Arizona congressman blasts siblings who endorsed opponent
Six siblings of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar urged voters to cast their ballots against the Arizona Republican in November in an unusual political ad sponsored by the rival candidate
6:35PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Militants attack Iran military parade, killing at least 25
Militants disguised as soldiers opened fire on an annual Iranian military parade in the country's oil-rich southwest, killing at least 25 people and wounding over 60 in the deadliest terror attack inside Iran in nearly a decade
6:31PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Real Madrid leads La Liga thanks to goal on video review
Video review helped Real Madrid beat Espanyol 1-0 and go to the top of the Spanish league
6:10PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Joshua stops Povetkin in 7th round, keeps heavyweight titles
Anthony Joshua retained his IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight titles with a seventh-round stoppage of Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on Saturday
5:52PM ( 48 minutes ago )
World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism
With rising unilateralism challenging its very existence, the United Nations convenes its annual meeting of world leaders Monday and will try once more to tackle problems together as a community of nations ranging from Mideast conflicts to global warming
5:43PM ( 57 minutes ago )