Tiger Woods made five birdies in six holes to shoot a 5-under 67 that elevated him to third place from 17th, four shots behind leader Charlie Wi at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Tournament.
Wi, who is looking for his first PGA Tour victory after 162 previous tries, was bogey-free as he shot a 3-under 69 today at Spyglass Hill to take a three-stroke lead. After 54 holes, he is 15-under at 199.
“I enjoy being in the lead,” Wi, of South Korea, told reporters. “It’s a lot more fun than trying to come from behind. I know that tonight is going to be very exciting, and I’m sure I won’t sleep as well as if I’m in 50th place. But that’s what we play for, and I’m really excited.”
Wi said his mental state will help dictate if he can maintain the lead in tomorrow’s final round.
“I’m sure I’ll be fighting my demons all day tomorrow and it’s how I handle myself tomorrow,” Wi said. “It’s not what other players are doing. How I handle myself tomorrow is going to be the outcome of the tournament.”
With an 11-under 203 after three rounds, Woods is the closest he has been to the lead in a PGA Tour event since the Masters in 2010.
“The ultimate goal is to win a golf tournament,” said Woods who played today’s round at Pebble Beach.
Ken Duke, who hasn’t won a PGA Tour event in 142 starts, shot a 65 at Monterey Peninsula to take second place with a 12-under 202.
“It’s really fun, especially when the big guys are up there,” Duke said. “That’s when everyone is out there watching.”
Phil Mickelson shot a 70 at Pebble Beach to tie for fourth place, six strokes back. Also at 9-under 205 are Brendon Todd, Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Kevin Na.
Woods hasn’t had an official PGA Tour win in more than two years. He ended a 749-day winless drought with a victory in December at the Chevron World Challenge, a limited-field event he hosts in California.
Woods last played at Pebble Beach during the 2010 U.S. Open, where he tied for fourth. When he won the tournament in 2000 he came from five back against Matt Gogel in the final round, four months before posting a 15-stroke victory in the U.S. Open at the course.
The professionals play the final round tomorrow at Pebble Beach.