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Woods one shot off lead

Tiger Woods shoots par 72 in the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic to sit one shot behind three co-leaders.

Associated Press

Tiger Woods shoots par 72 in the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic to sit one shot behind three co-leaders.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Tiger Woods is bidding to end his win drought in the desert.

He was one shot off the lead going into today's final round of the Dubai Desert Classic, rallying from a disastrous start with an eagle and three birdies on the back nine for par 72 in windy conditions Saturday.

"The fact I was able to battle from 4 over par and put myself with a chance going into (today), I'm proud of that," Woods said. "Hopefully, I can build on that."

He finished the third round at 7-under 209, in a seven-way tie in the European Tour event behind co-leaders Rory McIlroy (75), Anders Hansen (71) and Thomas Aiken (74).

Woods showed some of the resilience that recently has been lacking from his game on a dusty day during which the wind reached 28 mph.

After double bogey at No. 9 left Woods at 4-over 39, he started his surge with eagle on the par-5 10th and followed with birdie on No. 11. He closed with birdies on Nos. 15 and 18 sandwiched around a bogey on 16. "I just had to stay patient," he said.

Woods' last win was at the Australian Masters in November 2009, not long before the day-after-Thanksgiving car accident that led to the derailing of his personal and golf lives.

He is No. 3 in the world rankings behind Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer. The top-ranked Westwood was tied for 13th at 5 under; Kaymer was eight shots off the lead after 76.

Westwood could lose the top ranking if Kaymer wins and he finishes lower than second, and if Kaymer finishes second and Westwood is out of the top 10.

PGA: Steve Marino struggled with the greens on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula and ended his third round at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California with a three-putt bogey for 1-over 71. That still was enough to lead by one, at 12-under 202, over Jimmy Walker (63 at Monterey Peninsula) and Bryce Molder (68 at Spyglass Hill).

Marino said he hit the ball better than he had all week, but he could not get used to the pace on the Shore's greens. "A strange round," he said.

Phil Mickelson moved into contention for a fourth title at the event by making three birdies over his final five holes for 69. That moved him to 7-under 207, five shots back.

Because the top 20 pro-am teams play the final round, the cut is top 60 and ties. However, 73 players finished at 2-under 212. That included two-time defending champion Dustin Johnson, who had to make a 3-foot par on the 18th to make the cut.

Actor Bill Murray and pro D.A. Points managed to stay one shot back of pro Bryce Molder and Harry You for the lead in the pro-am portion of the event.

Champions: Peter Senior shot 67 for a one-stroke lead over Rod Spittle after two rounds of the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton. Senior was at 11-under 133. Tom Lehman (69) was another stroke back. Jay Don Blake, Friday's leader at 8 under, dropped back to 7 under.

Woods one shot off lead 02/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 12, 2011 9:30pm]
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