Sunday, June 24, 2018

Woods gets through wind to stay in World Challenge lead

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — After a day of so much uncertainty about where the ball was going, Tiger Woods landed in a place where the outcome is rarely in doubt.

He was in the lead.

Woods survived a rough round of swirling swing at Sherwood on Saturday with two birdies on his last three holes. He shot par 72 to keep a two-shot lead over Zach Johnson going into the final round of the World Challenge.

Woods had a tee shot into the water, a three-putt from 6 feet and a long delay on the 18th fairway as he tried to figure out the wind. He took a little off an 8-iron and holed a 12-foot birdie.

"I'm pleased at having the lead — not real pleased with the way I putted today," Woods said. "I left a few out there."

He wasn't alone.

The average score was just under 73, and No. 15, a par 3, had an average score of 4.17. Johnson double bogeyed two par 3s on the back nine and didn't feel he had hit a poor shot on either hole.

Blame the wind again.

"I didn't take myself out of it," said Johnson, who birdied two of the last three holes for 72.

Woods, the tournament host, was at 11-under 205, two shots ahead of Johnson.

Woods is 48-5 worldwide when he has an outright lead going into a tournament's final day.

Bubba Watson was within a shot of the lead briefly until a three-putt bogey on the 18th. Watson (69) was four shots behind; no one else in the elite 18-player field was within six.

Nedbank Golf Challenge: Jamie Donaldson (5-under 67) maintained a three-shot lead through three rounds in Sun City, South Africa. American Ryan Moore (67) and Thomas Bjorn (66) were second. Ernie Els shot 77 after hearing before the round that his former psychological coach, Jos Vanstiphout, had died. Els of South Africa said it was "another very sad day" after Thursday's death of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Dubai Ladies Masters: Pornanong Phatlum rallied to beat Stacy Lewis by a stroke at the Ladies European Tour's season finale in United Arab Emirates. Phatlum hit a 54-degree wedge to 2 feet on the par-5 final hole for birdie to cap her 6-under 66 to finish at 15-under 273.

LPGA Q school: Jaye Marie Green (5-under 67) of Boca Raton increased her lead to nine strokes at the qualifying tournament in Daytona Beach, reaching 25 under after four rounds. The top 20 after today's final round earn full LPGA Tour exemptions, and the next 25 earn conditional status. Cheyenne Woods, Tiger's niece, missed the cut.

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