Pro Golf Weekly

Tiger Woods Leads Tour Championship After 54 Holes

Atlanta, Georgia – Tiger Woods shot a 5-under par 65 on Saturday at East Lake Golf Club and will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Tour Championship.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods tees off from No. 3 during the third round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake GC on Sep. 22, 2018 in Atlanta, GA. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Entering his third day in Atlanta tied for the lead at 7 under, Woods came out of the gate on fire, carding birdies on Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 to quickly get to 13 under.

The 42-year old star cooled off, though, posting just one more birdie (No. 12) against two bogeys (Nos. 9 and 16) the rest of the way, to settle in at 12-under par.

“I felt hot early for sure. I was hitting it absolutely dead flush. The putts I was hitting were going in, and from there, I just tried to just hang in there and tried to make — I don’t know if I could add maybe one or two on that back nine, it would be great,” said Woods.

“But I figured the guys weren’t going to be doing much out there. You look at these hole locations before the day started, because we get them the night before, and I figured a low round would be 66 or 65 today, and I happened to be 6-under through 7, and I’m right where I need to be.”

Justin Rose, the overnight co-leader alongside Woods, got off to a bogey-bogey start, but finished his final 16 holes with just one more blemish while adding five birdies, en route to a 68.

Justin Rose
Justin Rose reacts to his chip shot on hole No. 9 during the third round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake GC on Sep. 22, 2018 in Atlanta, GA. Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

The world No. 1 headlines the chasing pack at 9-under par alongside Rory McIlroy, who shot a 66 to on Saturday.

Jon Rahm (68) and Kyle Stanley (67) were six shots off the pace at 6-under par, one clear of Paul Casey (66), Tony Finau (67), and Billy Horschel (69), who were T6 at 5 under.

A logjam of five players were one further back at 4-under par, including Aaron Wise (67), Dustin Johnson (67), Gary Woodland (68), Xander Schauffele (68), and Justin Thomas (70).


2018 TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP


ROUND THREE: TOP 5

Pos-Player-To Par-(Today)
1. Tiger Woods -12 (-5)
2. Rory McIlroy -9 (-4)
2. Justin Rose -9 (-2)
4. Jon Rahm -6 (-2)
4. Kyle Stanley -6 (-3)


FEDEXCUP PROJECTION AFTER ROUND 3

Where the FedExCup race stands after three rounds:
Proj FedExCup Pos-Player-Bonus-(Tournament Pos)
1. Justin Rose – $10m (T2)
2. Tiger Woods – $3m (1)
3. Bryson DeChambeau – $2m (T21)
4. Tony Finau – $1.5m (T6)
5. Justin Thomas – $1m (T9)


ROUND-3 VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights from the third round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club (via PGA Tour).


STAT LEADERS

Through 54 holes
DRIVING
1. Gary Woodland – 322.8 yards (T9)
2. Rory McIlroy – 315.1 yards (T2)
3. Bubba Watson – 313.6 yards (T27)

FAIRWAYS
1. Billy Horschel – 71.4%, 30/42 (T6)
2. Justin Rose – 66.7%, 28/42 (T2)
3. Tiger Woods – 64.3%, 26/42 (1)
3. Paul Casey – 64.3%, 26/42 (T6)
3. Gary Woodland – 64.3%, 26/42 (T9)

GREENS
1. Justin Rose – 81.5%, 44/54 (T2)
2. Rory McIlroy – 79.6%, 43/54 (T2)
3. Billy Horschel – 74.1%, 40/54 (T6)

PUTTS/GIR
1. Tiger Woods – 1.583 (1)
2. Jon Rahm – 1.590 (T4)
3. Kyle Stanley – 1.649 (T4)
3. Justin Thomas – 1.649 (T9)


LEADERS’ STATS

TIGER WOODS (-12)
Driving: 306.7 yards (10th)
Fairways: 64.3%, 27/42 (3rd)
Greens: 66.7%, 36/54 (13th)
Putts/GIR: 1.583 (1st)
Scoring: 1 Eagle, 16 Birdies, 32 Pars, 4 Bogeys, 1 Double Bogey


QUESTION FOR WOODS

Q: How much is getting in the lead and being in this position like old times, and how much of it do you have to re-learn, to get those feelings back?

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods tees off on the 16th hole during the third round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake GC on Sep. 22, 2018, in Atlanta, GA. Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

WOODS: Good question because I’ve — you know, I’ve felt very comfortable when I got into the mix there at Tampa even though it was very early in my start to this year. And because of that, I felt comfortable when I got to Bay Hill, when I grabbed the lead at the Open Championship.

Things that didn’t really feel abnormal, even though it’s been years, literally years, since I’ve been in those spots, but I think I’ve been in those spots enough times that muscle memory — I guess I remembered it, and I felt comfortable in those spots.

Today was the same. I was tied for the lead going out. We’ve got a long way to go, and I got off to just an ideal start. I made one at 1 and made a nice curler there at 3, and the next thing you know I was off and running.


TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP TEE TIMES: ROUND 4

All times EST. From No. 1 Tee
TV: 1:30-6:00 pm (NBC)
11:45 am – Patrick Reed (+8), Phil Mickelson (+11)
11:55 am – Keegan Bradley (+5), Bubba Watson (+5)
12:05 pm – Brooks Koepka (+4), Francesco Molinari (+4)
12:15 pm – Kevin Na (+2), Patrick Cantlay (+2)
12:25 pm – Bryson DeChambeau (+2), Cameron Smith (+2)
12:35 pm – Jason Day (E), Rickie Fowler (E)
12:45 pm – Marc Leishman (E), Patton Kizzire (E)
12:55 pm – Tommy Fleetwood (-2), Hideki Matsuyama (-1)
1:05 pm – Justin Thomas (-4), Webb Simpson (-3)
1:15 pm – Gary Woodland (-4), Xander Schauffele (-4)
1:25 pm – Aaron Wise (-4), Dustin Johnson (-4)
1:35 pm – Billy Horschel (-5), Tony Finau (-5)
1:45 pm – Paul Casey (-5), Jon Rahm (-6)
1:55 pm – Justin Rose (-9), Kyle Stanley (-6)
2:05 pm – Rory McIlroy (-9), Tiger Woods(-12)


TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERBOARD: ROUND 3

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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