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Woods, Mickelson breathe down Wi's neck

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Standing eight shots out of the lead early, Tiger Woods was in a bunker to the left of the 13th fairway at Pebble Beach when he sent a 9-iron right of the green toward deep rough.

The ball caromed off a mound, onto the green and started rolling. When it finally settled a foot below the hole, and the gallery roared, Woods hung his head and smiled.

He went from possible bogey to unlikely birdie.

And with five birdies in six holes Woods, who started on the back nine, went from the periphery of contention to the thick of it Saturday in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

"Looked like I was having a tough time making par, and I was making birdie, and off we go," Woods said. "Sometimes, we need those types of momentum swings in a round."

Charlie Wi played bogey-free at Spyglass Hill for 3-under 69 and a three-shot lead over Ken Duke, who had 65 on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula.

Woods had 5-under 67, his best Saturday score on the PGA Tour since the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and climbed within four of the lead.

Not only is Woods in the penultimate group today, he is paired with Phil Mickelson, who had 70 at Pebble despite playing the par 5s in 1 over.

Wi was at 15-under 199 and has a 54-hole lead for only the second time on tour. He has never won in 162 starts: "I haven't really thought about (the pressure of being in front). But I enjoy being in the lead."

Women's Australian Open: American teen Jessica Korda moved into position for a two-sport, father-daughter Australian double, shooting par 73 for a one-stroke lead after three rounds in Melbourne. Korda, 18, daughter of 1998 Australian Open tennis champ Petr Korda, was at 4-under 215. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (73) was tied for eighth at 218; Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (74—225) and Kristy McPherson (76—227) were farther back in the event, sanctioned by the LPGA for the first time in conjunction with Australian Ladies Professional Golf and the Ladies European Tour.

CHAMPIONS: Corey Pavin and Peter Senior shared the lead after two rounds at the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton. Senior (4-under 68) tied first-round leader Pavin (70) at 10-under 134.

EUROPEAN: Lee Westwood shot 5-under 67 for 15-under 201 and a one-shot lead over three players after the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic in United Arab Emirates.

Woods, Mickelson breathe down Wi's neck 02/11/12 [Last modified: Saturday, February 11, 2012 9:37pm]
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