Tiger Woods seizes four-stroke lead after three rounds
27 Jan 2013 - 23:17:42
Tiger Woods, seeking the 75th career victory of his legendary career, seized a four-stroke lead on Sunday as the final round of the $6.1 million US PGA Farmers Insurance Open began.
Woods fired a three-under par 69 in the third round a day after dense fog wiped out almost all play at Torrey Pines, a course where Woods has won six PGA event titles and his most recent major crown at the 2008 US Open.
Woods stood on 14-under par 202 with Canada's Brad Fritsch second on 206 after a third-round 70 and American Erik Compton third on 207 after firing a 71 in the third round.
The 14-time major champion, chasing the all-time record of 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, did have some signs of concern as the event moved toward a Monday finish with play set to continue Sunday until darkness.
Woods made the first bogey of his career at the par-5 18th hole at Torrey Pines, giving a stroke back to the field Sunday when he found the right rough and a greenside right bunker then missed a par putt after a poor sand shot.
Defending champion Brandt Snedeker, who rallied from seven strokes down to win the event last year, was making a late charge again at three-under through six holes of his final round.
Snedeker was seven strokes back after 54 holes but pulled within four of the lead with birdies on the second, fourth and sixth holes.
But Woods spent most of the cool, cloudy day looking relaxed and taking charge as he looked from his 26th victory in 31 events when leading after 36 holes.
A seventh victory in the PGA event would match his seven at Firestone and at Bay Hill for a personal best for number of victories at courses, with the PGA record eight owned by Sam Snead at Greensboro.
Woods tapped in birdies at the second and third holes and answered a bogey at the fifth with a birdie at the par-5 sixth. He began the back nine with a birdie from six feet then birdied the par-5 13th before his closing bogey.