Woods one stroke off lead after three rounds at Valspar

Woods has made an encouraging start to the year

Woods has made an encouraging start to the year

Conners shot a cool 3-under 68 on Saturday playing just behind Woods to take a one-stroke lead into the final round.

"I was walking down the sixth and looked over to the fourth green", Rose said. Looking forward it. I was smiling a lot out there. I'm starting to get a better feel for it.

"I think I've played, what, 13 rounds coming back?"

"I started smiling, " Snedeker said.

"Once I played with him at Torrey and saw up close that he was playing pain-free.no, this doesn't surprise me at all, " Snedeker said.

"I need to play a good solid round and put in a clean score card".

Woods then delivered perhaps his best putt of the day, a tough par save on No. 7 that elicited one of Tiger's trademark fist pumps as the ball hit the bottom of the cup.

While his driving accuracy was lacking at times on Saturday, Woods' short game was particularly sharp, as evidenced by a chip-in birdie from the rough from 30 feet at the par-four ninth that tied him for the lead.

Former world number one Woods, playing his fourth US PGA Tour event since returning in January from spinal fusion surgery last April, fired a three-under par 68 for a four-under total of 138.

And to Woods' credit, and something he rarely did at the height of his career and that was stop to sign autographs after his round.

"We'll cross that bridge, Bernie, when we get there".

If it seems like it's been awhile since you've heard that sentence, it's because it's been nearly half a decade since Woods walked off a golf course atop the leaderboard. It's a situation that's caused many players in the past to succumb to the pressure. Scotty (Adam Scott) played well, he got it up there.

It was a reminder that an entire generation of golfers - from Jordan Spieth to Jon Rahm to Justin Thomas, and to the great (this week) Corey Conners himself - has come of age not knowing what it feels like to be sucked into the black hole of a Tiger Woods weekend charge, when the rest of the sport's collective gravity is no match for his.

"There's a lot of guys up there, myself included". Got to go out there and really play well again. Still Woods proved Saturday that the new one is capable of creating similar results.

He will be paired with Rose on Sunday, who enjoyed four birdies and an eagle in his 66.

And while Knox would dearly love to capture a third Tour victory, the Scot is focussed on improving his current No. 98 World Ranking and joining Woods in next month's Masters.

Woods had a chance to hit the clubhouse with the outright lead, but scored his first bogey of the day on the 18th hole of the day when his approach shot hit a woman's purse and he failed to get up and down after a drop.

"The Masters in my burning goal and you never know into this game".

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