Tiger Woods shot a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida. If he wins, he will rise to No. 1 in the world ranking.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Tiger Woods is one victorious round from returning to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
With key par saves early in his round and an eagle for the third straight day at Bay Hill, Woods seized control Saturday with a 6-under-par 66 to race by Justin Rose and build a two-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Woods was at 11-under 205, two shots ahead of Rickie Fowler (67), John Huh (71) and Rose, who at one point was six shots ahead of Woods. Rose had a 39 on the back nine and wound up with a 72.
Woods hasn’t been No. 1 in the world since October 2010. That can change with a victory on a Bay Hill course where he already has won seven times, and from a position where he seldom loses. Woods is 41-2 on the PGA Tour when he has the outright lead entering the final round.
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“Just because I’ve won here doesn’t ensure that I’m going to win the tournament,” Woods said. “The conditions are different. The game might be different. But the objective is still to put myself in position to win the golf tournament and somehow get it done on Sunday. Over the course of my career, I’ve done a pretty decent job of that.”
Woods is going for his third PGA Tour victory of the year. He has six eagles this year, compared with four eagles all of last season on the Tour.
“I made a few putts, and that’s what I was pleased with today,” he said.
Rose had a three-shot lead on the back nine until he faltered, making three bogeys over the last six holes.
“The back nine was a shame, but today means nothing until tomorrow plays out,” Rose said.
The last time Fowler and Woods were paired together in a final round was June 3 at the Memorial, where Woods closed with a 67 to win and Fowler had an 84.
Ex-Washington Huskies player Richard H. Lee (72) was tied for 33rd place at 1 under.
• Corey Pavin birdied his first six holes and finished with a 5-under 67 to join Bernhard Langer (65), Joe Daley (66) and Roger Chapman (67) atop the leaderboard after the second round of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, an event on the 50-and-older Champions Tour in Saucier, Miss.
The leaders were at 8-under 136.
Defending champion Fred Couples (66), a Seattle native, was tied for eighth place at 6 under.
Kirk Triplett (71), a graduate of Pullman High School, was tied for 37th at even par.
• Beatriz Recari of Spain shot a 3-under 69 to take a two-stroke lead over Karrie Webb (70) of Australia after three rounds of the LPGA Tour Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif.
Recari was at 11-under 205. I.K. Kim (70) of South Korea and American Paula Creamer (71) were tied for third at 8 under.