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Page last updated at 23:43 GMT, Saturday, 15 August 2009 00:43 UK

Woods in charge for USPGA finale

-8 T Woods (US) -6 YE Yang (Kor), P Harrington (Ire) -4 H Stenson (Swe), L Glover (US) -3 E Els (SA), S Kjeldsen (Den) Selected others: -2 R Fisher (Eng) -1 R McIlroy (NIre), L Westwood Level G McDowell (NIre), V Singh (Fij) +2 O Wilson (Eng), I Poulter (Eng) +8 Phil Mickelson (US)

Tiger Woods
Woods is chasing a fifth USPGA title

Tiger Woods will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the USPGA as he seeks to maintain his 100% record in majors when leading with a round to go.

The world number one is aiming for his 15th, having led after three rounds in all his previous 14 triumphs.

Woods is eight under par after a 71 on Saturday, defending champion Padraig Harrington and Yang Yong-Eun two back.

The South Korean partners Woods in the final group, with Henrik Stenson and US Open champion Lucas Glover four adrift.

Ernie Els is on three under, five behind, while Ross Fisher leads the Britons at two under.

Victory for Woods would see him close to within three of equalling Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles.

He would also equal the record of five USPGA crowns, held by Nicklaus and Walter Hagen, and would preserve his run of winning at least one major every year since 2005.

The 33-year-old, who has won all eight of the majors he has led at halfway, took a four-shot lead into the third day but saw his advantage whittled away as he opted for a cautious approach.

"I was just trying to be very patient out there," said Woods. "The golf course was playing a little more difficult and I had the lead so I played conservatively.

"I didn't give myself a lot of looks and the one putt I missed was the three-putt (at the 4th) so other than that it was a really good, solid day."

Woods, who missed the cut at the Open Championship last month for only his second time in a major, has won five times in 11 strokeplay events, including twice in the last two weeks, since taking eight months off after knee surgery.

Padraig Harrington
Everybody who is behind is going to think we have nothing to lose

Padraig Harrington

Harrington, who won the title last year for a second straight major victory in Woods's absence, joined the American in the lead at seven under with a birdie on the 14th.

Woods had remained seven under after trading a birdie on the 2nd with a bogey on 4th, but he made a decisive move when he chipped in for a second birdie on the 14th.

Harrington kept within one until bogeying the 18th for a 69 to drop back to six under, and in doing so he missed out on a slot alongside Woods on Sunday in what would have been his fourth match with the American in five rounds.

"I think it would suit me better to have that sort of matchplay style," he said. "Obviously, to get a win you've got to beat him by three tomorrow and that's a tall order but everybody who is behind is going to think we have nothing to lose."


Yang climbed up the leaderboard with a five-under 67, and as the first player in the tie for second to post six under he earned the chance to play in the final group.

The 37-year-old from Seoul won his first PGA Tour event this year in the Honda Classic at Riviera and put himself in position to become Asia's first major champion if he can overcome Woods, who won his 70th career title last week.

"He has won 70 times. I've only won once. So 70-1 odds," Yang said. "I might as well go for broke. It will be my first time playing with him, so I'll try not to go over par. But I've been looking forward to it. I've thought about playing with Tiger recently. Surprised it came true so fast."

Sweden's Stenson, who won the prestigious Players Championship in May, fought to a 68 despite a bogey at the 1st, while American Glover, the surprise winner at Bethpage Black in June, maintained his challenge with a 71.

It's not a runaway deal - it looks like the guys are really set to give Tiger a go

Ernie Els

South Africa's Els, who won the last of his three major titles in 2002 before a knee injury hampered his progress, reached six under, one adrift, after the 15th, but three bogeys to finish derailed his charge, though he senses Woods can be beaten.

"It's not a runaway deal," he said. "Looked like a runaway thing at the end of yesterday. But it looks like the guys are really set to give Tiger a go, and the crowd could sense that."

Kjeldsen also threatened to challenge when he reached five under after 15, but bogeys at 16 and 18 pegged him back.

Playing alongside Woods was another three-time major champion Vijay Singh, but the 46-year-old Fijian had a day to forget with the putter and plunged to level par after a three-over 75 despite eagling the 7th.

England's Fisher, tied second overnight, dropped two shots in his first five holes but worked hard and swapped three birdies with two further bogeys to recover to a 73.

Fellow Englishmen Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, who both began the day five adrift of Woods, struggled to a 73 and 76 respectively to end one under and two over.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlory and Graeme McDowell both improved by a shot, though, and will go into Sunday's final round seven shots and eight shots adrift.

The final round is set to begin at 1336 BST with Woods and Yang teeing off at 1945 BST.

Organisers said players could go off in threesomes from both tees if the forecast inclement weather in the area forced a delay to Sunday's start.

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see also
International Open leaderboard
07 Sep 09 |  Live scores
USPGA third round photos
15 Aug 09 |  Golf
USPGA second round photos
14 Aug 09 |  Golf
Woods lays down gauntlet in USPGA
13 Aug 09 |  Golf
USPGA first round photos
13 Aug 09 |  Golf
Harrington upbeat on USPGA hopes
12 Aug 09 |  Golf
USPGA just wants to be loved
11 Aug 09 |  Golf
Woods repeats slow-play criticism
12 Aug 09 |  Golf
Casey forced to pull out of USPGA
13 Aug 09 |  Golf
USPGA photos
11 Aug 08 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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