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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 July, 2003, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
Woods rues weak finish
Tiger Woods chips in for an eagle at the 7th
It wasn't a shot I was trying to get close
Tiger on the bunker shot that earned him an eagle at the 7th

Tiger Woods is still very much in the hunt for his second Open title - but a poor back nine undid much of the progress he had made with a fantastic early surge on Saturday.

The world number one stormed up the leaderboard with two eagles and a birdie as he reached the turn in an amazing 31 shots.

But he dropped three shots coming home, and had to be content with a 69 that left him at level par for the tournament.

"Overall, I am very pleased the way I played. Some of the bounces did not go my way," he said.

"When you play most tournaments you hit a tee shot down the middle, you pick up the tee and don't worry about it.

"Here you worry about it because good shots aren't always rewarded by being in the fairway."

Woods, who started the day four strokes behind overnight leader Davis Love, eagled the par-five fourth and seventh holes, the latter courtesy of an unbelievable bunker shot.

He had hit his second into the greenside bunker, ending up with a terrible lie.

But he somehow not only blasted the ball out, but sent it arrowing towards the hole, into which it eventually vanished.

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Lifting his arms high in celebration, it seemed certain the shot would be the catalyst for a continued charge away from his rivals.

He did duly birdie the ninth, but then went badly off the boil after the turn.

Having only needed 12 putts on the front nine, he suddenly lost his way, bogeying the 11th and also three-putting at the 13th, 15th and 17th, with only a birdie at the 15th to punctuate his poor run.

He composed himself to finish with two fours, but ended with a 69 that leaves him off the lead going into the final round.

Woods has never won a major when he hasn't been leading or tieing for the lead after the third round.

But he remains determined to change that on Sunday.

"I'd like to put that right. I've made eight a different way, so maybe I can make one this way."



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"Overall I'm very pleased with the way I played"



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