Woods is under pressure
Tiger Woods got off to a shaky start in today’s final round of the USPGA and was tied with Y E Yang at the fourth.
Tiger Woods got off to a shaky start in search of his 15th major and after just four holes of the final round of the US PGA Championship at Hazeltine National, he had dropped back into a tie with Korea’s YE Yang.
Woods had begun the fourth round at a rain-softened Hazeltine with a two-shot lead at eight under par over Yang and defending champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland.
Yang upped the ante with a birdie at the par-five third and Woods folded at the par-three fourth, three-putting for bogey to fall into a tie with the Korean at seven under.
Yang’s time in the lead was short-lived as he bogeyed the fifth, while Harrington narrowly missed birdie chances at the fifth and sixth to stay tied for second at six under.
A third of an inch of rain had fallen overnight on the 7,674-yard, par-72 Minnesota course after Woods completed a third-round 71 to close in on a record-tying fifth US PGA title.
Playing conservative, low-risk golf, the world number one had seen his four-stroke halfway lead cut in half by Yang’s five-under 67 and Harrington’s 69.
Also within reach of Woods, winner of his last two tournaments, was Henrik Stenson of Sweden and American US Open champion Lucas Glover, a further two shots in arrears at four under par with Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen and Ernie Els of South Africa at three under.
Woods was paired with Yang for the final round with Harrington partnering Ryder Cup team-mate Stenson in the penultimate group out, and also had history on his side having converted all 14 of his 54-hole major leads into victories.
Glover made an early charge, getting to six under after birdies at the third and fifth but bogeying the sixth.
England’s Lee Westwood picked up two shots to reach three under after 12 holes, while Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy rebounded from a double bogey six at the first with birdies at the third, fourth, fifth and ninth to also get to three under.
Stenson was at three under after two bogeys and a birdie in his first six holes while also four shots off the lead on the front nine were Els and Australian Brendan Jones.
Vijay Singh got off to a hot start, the two-time winner having gone backwards playing the final group with Woods on Saturday with a 75 caused by putting problems.
The Fijian resisted the temptation to revert to a belly putter as he began his final round and he promptly sank a 20-foot birdie putt at the first.
Another birdie followed at the second without the need for a putter, Singh holing out from a bunker to move to two under.
The fine run was halted, though, when he bogeyed the first par-five hole of the day at the third, missing from short range. He got one back at the sixth but bogeys at the ninth and 13th sent him to level par for the week.
Among the early finishers, Ian Poulter closed an erratic week with a level-par 72, two over for the tournament, while a 73 from fellow Englishman Luke Donald ended his week at six over par.
World number two Phil Mickelson began his day with an eagle but closed with a four-over 76 to finish at 12 over par, while Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, at 17 the youngest player ever in a US PGA Championship, posted a 72, eight over for the tournament.
Chris Wood finished with a 79 to close the week at 15 over with Alastair Forsyth of Scotland two shots further back following a 72.
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