Mar 10 2013
Tiger Woods admitted it could have been better but will still hold a four-stroke lead over Graeme McDowell going into the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship after a third round of 67.
The world number two carded seven birdies and only two bogeys to end the day in a commanding position, despite his Northern Irish playing partner recording two eagles.
Woods said: "After I made birdie on 15, I was looking pretty good with a six-shot lead, and with a drivable par four. Two holes later, it's now cut down to three. I piped a tee shot down there, hit a little nine-iron and was able to pour that putt in."
Woods started off with a tap-in birdie after his eagle putt just stayed up on the par-five opener. He matched that score at the second and third and, though he gave a shot back at the fifth, a fourth birdie after a superb approach to the long eighth took him to 16 under for the tournament.
He birdied the 10th and added another at the par-three 15th, and though he dropped a shot at the penultimate hole he responded at the last to close on his second win of the season, and the 76th of his career.
Northern Ireland's McDowell eagled the first and picked up further shots at the third and sixth to stay hot on the heels of the world number two up to the turn. Things did not go so smoothly on the back nine, with a bogey at 11 and a double-bogey six at the 14th, but he undid some of the damage at the 16th.
Having driven almost 320 yards to the fringe of the green, McDowell chipped in from around 20 feet for a superb eagle on the par four. But he failed to take advantage of Woods' error at 17 when his birdie putt stayed up, and a monster birdie attempt at the last also refused to drop.
McDowell added: "The three-putt on 10 kind of rattled me a little bit, because Tiger didn't look like he was going to do anything wrong. I really felt like I needed to be making putts like that."
Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker ended the day sharing third place after each shooting 69 to finish 13 under. Spain's Sergio Garcia birdied two of the last three holes to share fifth place on 11 under par alongside Michael Thompson - last week's Honda Classic winner matching Garcia's round of 67 - Keegan Bradley and Charl Schwartzel.
Bubba Watson was a further shot back, along with Sweden's Freddie Jacobson, while Ryder Cup team-mates Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner were at nine under. Justin Rose and Ian Poulter were the leading British players at six under as fellow Englishman Lee Westwood fell away late in his round.