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Sunday, 16 February, 2003, 00:03 GMT
Woods hits the front
Tiger Woods
Woods has announced his return to form in style
Saturday's round-up

Buick Invitational Classic

Tiger Woods endured bogeys, enjoyed birdies and saved his share of pars to move 12 under and take a one-shot lead at the Buick Invitational.

Woods was even able to birdie the18th after hitting into the grandstand - a combination which summed up a mixed, but successful round.

Playing in his first event since undergoing knee surgery in December, Woods began the day tied for eighth, two strokes off the pace, but was delighted to grab the lead.

Leaderboard
12 under:
Tiger Woods
11 under:
Brad Faxon
10 under:
Phil Mickelson
Steven Alker

"It's great to be back," said Woods, who won this event in 1999.

"It's great to get out there and compete again."

The top-ranked player in the world, Woods hit his second shot at the par-five 18th into the crowd to the right of the green.

But he took a drop, nearly holed his flop shot over a bunker and made a seven-foot birdie putt.

The birdie gave Woods a one-stroke lead over Brad Faxon, the second-round co-leader who played the last eight holes in two over en route to a 71.

Home favourite Phil Mickelson set up an intriguing final threesome, shooting a 69 that put him in a tie for third with Steven Alker at 10 under.

Alker finished his round with an eagle.

"It is going to be exciting to be in that final group again," said Woods.

There was bad news, however, for Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke who was disqualified from the event after signing an incorrect scorecard on Saturday.

Clarke, 34, mistakenly recorded a four instead of a five on the par-four 12th hole during the tournament's third round.

This week's golf from around the world

Daily round-up

GOLF STATISTICS
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29 Jan 03 | Golf
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