Vijay Singh leads the field by three shots over Loren Roberts and David Duval with four holes still to play in the third round of the Masters.
But for those who thought the Tiger was finished with this year’s campaign, think again. With a 4-under par 68, Woods took advantage of his earlier than is the norm tee time to post a 1-under par total and played himself back into contention as most of the leaders back tracked.
"I didn't want to feel like I was completely out of it," said Woods, who finished at 1-under 215. "The whole idea today was to get to even par, and lucky if I got to under par. A lot of people said I'm out of it," he said. "I'm not out of it."
And you can bet your bottom dollar that whoever takes the lead into the final day will be worrying about the “Tiger factor” come the back nine tomorrow.
Earlier in the day, play was suspended due to heavy rain at Augusta. After the rain came heavy winds and treacherous conditions on the greens with the some golf balls being blown off line in mid putt. All of the leaders bar Singh fell back to the field and once again, the Masters proved that it will be the most resilient player of the week that will walk away with a green blazer.
Play for the third round was finally suspended at 7:45 p.m. because of darkness leaving Singh (-7), Duval (-4), Els (-3) and Mickelson (-2) still out on the course. They will resume their rounds at the crack of dawn. But Loren Roberts (-3) managed to finish his round and will take advantage of a lie in before his quest for a first major.
A brilliant birdie on the 14th hole put Singh at 7-under for the tournament, taking advantage of Duval’s sloppy play through Amen corner. The 36-hole leader dunked his ball short of the 12th hole to record a double bogey and gave Singh some breathing room at the top.
But a fighting birdie from Duval at the next, after a rifled three iron to ten feet, setting up an eagle putt, closed the gap again.
But Duval could not consolidate at the next, finding trouble off the tee, watching Singh shave the hole with his wedge approach and himself having to play the shot of the day from the front of the 14th green over humps, bumps and severe mounding, just to save par.
Amen corner was more favourable to Davis Love III, twice a runner-up in The Masters the past five years. He also made headway on the leaders with a 68, cruising through the notorious three holes at 2-under par.
The final day will be full of drama, you can be sure of that. As it stands, Vijay has the green jacket in his sights, but it will all depend on the weather tomorrow, similar conditions expected, and who has the bottle to close out one of the hardest events to win in golf.
Keep your eyes on Ernie Els, he looks so laid back and relaxed, while the rest look agitated. The big easy took all the bad shots in his stride today, and he is only three behind. And of course Tiger, he will be firing at every flag out there tomorrow, he has a lot of ground to make up. But if there is one man famed for comebacks, it’s the World number One.
1 V. Singh -7
2 D. Duval -4
T3 L. Roberts -3
T3 E. Els -3
5 P. Mickelson -2
T6 T. Woods -1
T6 D. Love III -1
T6 M. Weir -1
9 N. Price EVEN
T10 C. Franco +1
T10 D. Paulson +1
T10 S. Garcia +1
T10 B. Langer +1
T10 J. Sluman +1
T10 T. Lehman +1
T10 S. Jones +1