Tiger Woods closes in on first win in nearly five years

12 March, 2018, 09:24 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • Tiger Woods grabs share of the early lead with 3-under 68 at Valspar Championship

Tiger Woods had the crowd roaring, but rookie Corey Conners held his nerve to stay one stroke ahead of the former world No 1 after three rounds of the Valspar Championship.

It is hard to overstate the depths from which Woods has recently climbed, from the back surgeries to the tabloid scandals to the DUI arrest just 10 months ago, when he was found to have had five different prescription drugs in his system.

Woods looked sharper as the gallery got louder. "I ust wanted to get another opportunity to play, and fortunately I was able to get that opportunity this week and had a good week so far".

"I am excited. I feel good", said Woods, who's made just two bogeys in the past 36 holes.

"I need to play a good solid round and put in a clean score card".

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Woods' push to the top of the leaderboard comes one week after veteran Phil Mickelson claimed his first Tour win since The Open Championship in 2013, exactly two weeks prior to Woods' last win.

Entering Friday, Tiger Woods had not led a golf tournament since August 22, 2015, when he ascended to the top of the leaderboard during the third round of the Wyndham Championship.

"I got into the field late, and kind of came in here with nothing to lose", he said.

"I was living from minute to minute".

Woods tied for the lead with a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 10, only to miss a pair of birdie putts inside 8 feet.

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It seems like every chip he hits these days has a chance to go in, and he finally got a short, delicate one to drop from behind the green at nine.

He drained a putt from 22 feet for birdie at No. 10 underneath an overcast sky similar in color to his dark gray slacks and cap, contrasting Woods' bright pink Nike shirt that helped him stand out in a crowd even more than normal. Woods is happy with the way his game has progressed this week. I figure it will be similar tomorrow. "I kind of knew what to expect out there with a lot of people and lot of people watching, but I felt comfortable".

"I am excited", he said. And to have seen him under these circumstances, near the weekend lead, with major season approaching, was something approaching transcendent - even for those who saw it from up close.

In today's final round he will once again be paired with Brandt Snedeker in the next to last group.

Watch the final round of the Valspar Championship live on Sunday from 5pm on Sky Sports Golf and 6.30pm on Sky Sports Main Event.

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