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Hero World Challenge: Late birdies keep Woodland ahead

Touch of old: Tiger Woods put himself in the hunt with the day’s best card in the third round.

Touch of old: Tiger Woods put himself in the hunt with the day’s best card in the third round.  

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Stenson in second spot; Woods lies tied third

Gary Woodland held on to a one-stroke lead at the end of the third round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club here on Friday.

Woodland snatched birdies on the last two holes to edge ahead of the field.

Henrik Stenson (12-under 204 overall) sits in second place, while tournament host Tiger Woods (11-under 205) is breathing down the neck of the leaders.

Stenson briefly joined Woodland at the top when he made a strong putt to birdie on the par-4 13th hole. A bogey on the 18th, however, saw him slip down. Overall, the Swede shot a good four-under 68, despite landing on sprinkler heads on consecutive holes.

Woods, meanwhile, recorded the best card of the day (five-under 67). He got into rhythm by saving par on the 10th — sinking a tough putt breaking to the left. On the next hole, Woods once again made a great read on the green, choosing to follow the straight line to make the putt.

Woods stated that with conditions favouring low scores, he expects an exciting finish to the tournament. “I had a good day, but I missed a few putts. In order to win, I have to make my share,” Woods added.

Woods is tied third alongside fellow-American Justin Thomas and ‘European Tour Player of The Year’ Jon Rahm. Thomas is grouped with Woods in the final round — a fact that could work in Thomas’ favour.

Great record

Thomas holds a great record when playing alongside Woods, outscoring his senior partner in 11 of 13 occasions.

“It's always comfortable playing with people you know. I didn’t have those exact numbers, but be sure to tell Tiger the numbers though,” Thomas said.

The scores:

203: Gary Woodland (66, 69, 68); 204: Henrik Stenson (69, 67, 68); 205: Tiger Woods (72, 66, 67), Justin Thomas (69, 69, 67), Jon Rahm (70, 66, 69); 206: Patrick Reed (66, 66, 74).

(The writer is in Nassau on invitation from Hero MotoCorp)

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:05:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/hero-world-challenge-late-birdies-keep-woodland-ahead/article30232994.ece

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