January 28, 2006

Tiger charges into Buick contention with third-round 67

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Tiger Woods stayed in the hunt for a
record fourth Buick Invitational title, firing a five-under-par
67 in Saturday's third round.

The world number one, seven shots off the pace overnight,
birdied five of the last 10 holes to finish at 10-under 206.

That left him one adrift of early leader Nathan Green of
Australia, who had four holes to play on the difficult South
Course at Torrey Pines.

Woods, Buick Invitational champion in 1999, 2003 and again
last year, made a surprisingly slow start, missing the fairway
to the right on five of the first six holes on a cold, overcast

Level for his round playing the par-five sixth, he picked
up his first shot of the day there despite failing to reach the
green in two, hitting a low pitch four feet past the pin.

However, Woods bogeyed the next hole after pushing his tee
shot into the right rough to slip back to five under for the

Something then clicked into place for the 10-time major
winner. Putting behind him his errant driving of the first day,
when he found only one fairway out of 14, Woods stepped up a
gear with his all-round game.

A prodigious drive straight down the middle at the par-five
ninth set up his second birdie of the day and he picked up
another shot at the par-four 10th after hitting his approach to
just three feet.

Although Woods found one of two front greenside bunkers at
the par-five 13th, he splashed out to within three feet of the
flag for birdie number four.

Further birdies followed on 15 and 17 after superb tee
shots on both holes set up precision wedges into the green.

Although Woods pulled his tee shot well left at the
par-five last, he struck his second safely onto the fairway
before striking a 93-yard approach to just seven feet and it
seemed another birdie was there for the taking.

However, he narrowly missed and had to settle for signing
off with a par-five.