Resurgent Tiger Woods one back with 18 to play at Valspar Championship
Tiger Woods remains firmly in the running for a first PGA Tour victory since 2013, after ending round three of the Valspar Championship one shot behind leader Corey Conners.
Golf's dominant figure for much of the past two decades, Woods was the centre of attention once again at Palm Harbor on Saturday, with huge crowds gathering to see if the former world number one could continue a hugely encouraging week.
There was plenty to delight those who came out to cheer for Woods as the 42-year-old carded a four-under 67, earning a share of second with playing partner Brandt Snedeker (67) and Justin Rose (66).
Woods will surely fancy his chances of claiming his 80th PGA Tour title on Sunday, with unheralded rookie Conners - who again impressed with a 68 - the only man above him on the leaderboard.
The highlights of Woods' penultimate round came around the turn, as he chipped in for an unlikely birdie at the ninth before holing a 22-foot putt at the 10th for another gain.
At that point, Woods and Conners were tied for the lead at eight under, the former having also picked up shots at the third and fifth holes.
However, presentable birdie chances went begging for the 14-time major champion at the 11th and 12th, and he then made a clumsy bogey at the short 13th after a hideous pulled tee shot.
Woods, whose iron play was sparkling for most of the day, was soon back on track with a fifth birdie of the day on 14 and finished confidently with four straight pars, grinning broadly as he shook hands with Snedeker on the 18th green.
Low round of the year-- PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 10, 2018
T2 at -8
One shot back heading into Sunday pic.twitter.com/OfY0zWRZmm
Conners, only playing as a reserve this week - twice put together runs of three birdies in four holes, but dropped shots on the sixth, seventh and 16th.
Only four men beat Woods' score of 67, with Rose's five-under round putting the Englishman in the final group with Conners, who endured a stressful end to his round when his ball moved on the 18th green as he took a practice stroke.
Rose holed his approach to the 11th for an eagle and also found four birdies, his solitary bogey coming on the seventh.