Woods recovers to take share of lead

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Tiger Woods overcame a shaky start to his third round to set up a final-day showdown with Anthony Kim at the AT&T National.

Tournament host and second round leader Tiger Woods overcame a shaky start in Saturday’s third round of the AT&T National to set up a final-day showdown with the defending champion and first-round leader, Anthony Kim on Sunday.

Woods scrambled a wind-blown, even-par 70 on a see-saw day at the par-70 Congressional Country Club, losing a three-shot lead in just two holes but clawing his way back on the closing stretch to regain a share of the lead.

Kim turned what should have been a straight forward birdie into bogey with a sloppy three-putt on the ninth but then held his nerve to make sure he was at least tied with Tiger on 10-under 200 by the end of the round

The 24-year-old American Ryder Cup star has never finished higher than Woods in a PGA Tour event, and this will be the first time ever they have been paired together, so how does he feel about it?

“I’m excited,” Kim said. “There’s not too many chances to play against the best in the world at his tournament. I would love to play great tomorrow.”

And what does he expect from Tiger?

“I expect he’s going to be wearing a red shirt and he’ll be out there ready to go,” Kim said.

Woods’ bid to win for the first time this tournament he hosts in the Washington DC area for the benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation, had begun the day with a one-shot lead at 10 under par.

He was leading Australia’s Rod Pampling with Kim in third place at eight under when they teed off.

But, playing with Pampling in the final group out at the par-70 Blue Course and in front of big crowds celebrating American Independence Day, the world number one immediately hit trouble, finding left rough off the tee at the 402-yard, par-four first hole.

His second shot failed to reach the green, landing in more rough between fairway and bunker and his third shot left him with a 10-foot par putt he failed to convert, tapping in for bogey to fall into a shared lead with Pampling at nine under.

Pampling then moved into the outright lead with a birdie at the par-four third to go to 10 under, one shot ahead of Woods, who had won the Bay Hill and Memorial tournaments earlier this year.

Then the Australian bogeyed holes four and five while Woods bogeyed the par-four sixth before recording his first birdie of the day with a three at the eighth.

An eagle three followed at the 602-yard ninth courtesy of a 366-yard drive and a 25-foot putt, but Woods then double bogeyed the par-four 11th, hopping from left rough to front-left greenside bunker to left greenside bunker before three-putting for a six.

Woods got back to level for the day with a birdie at the par-five 16th on his way to what was a disappointing 70 for the 14-time major winner.

Kim, who on Thursday had shot a course-record 64, had also got off to a bad start with a bogey at the opening hole but he bounced back with a birdie at the third and eighth.

A bogey followed at the ninth but he birdied the 12th and 16th en route to his 68.

Woods and Kim are a shot clear of American duo Michael Allen, the 50-year-old US Senior PGA champion who shot a 65, and Cameron Beckman, whose 66 got him to nine under.

The 50-year-old Allen, who has never won in 336 PGA Tour events, but is undefeated on the Champions Tour where he won the Senior PGA Championship on debut earlier this year, posted seven birdies in his best of the day 65

Winning here would be a long-time dream come true

“It would be a culmination of what I’ve always been try to do,” Allen said. “And champagne for everybody.”

In the meantime Jim Furyk’s 69 has him high in the chasing pack at eight under while Pampling shares fifth place with a 71 that featured an 83-foot birdie putt at the par-four 14th hole.

US Open champion Lucas Glover got to seven under following a 68 that left him in seventh place, three shots off the lead, while Americans Cliff Kresge, Bryce Molder and Ryan Moore were in a tie for eighth with Japan’s Ryuji Imada and New Zealander Danny Lee at six under.

Sweden’s Daniel Chopra finished the third round as the leading European at four under following a 72, while Justin Rose led the small British contingent at Congressional, venue for the 2011 US Open.

The Englishman’s round of 69 took him to three under for the week and a tie for 22nd but compatriot Brian Davis shot a 74 to slip to six over while Scotland’s Martin Laird continued his tournament-leading accuracy off the tee but struggled with his short game and slumped to a 76, seven over for the week.

ALL THE THIRD ROUND SCORES
(USA unless stated, par 70):

200 Tiger Woods 64 66 70, Anthony Kim 62 70 68
201 Michael Allen 67 69 65, Cameron Beckman 68 67 66
202 Rodney Pampling (Aus) 67 64 71, Jim Furyk 66 67 69
203 Lucas Glover 69 66 68
204 Danny Lee (Nzl) 68 67 69, Ryuji Imada (Jpn) 69 69 66, Bryce Molder 64 70 70, Cliff Kresge 70 67 67, Ryan Moore 69 66 69
205 George McNeill 70 66 69, Boo Weekley 67 69 69, Stuart Appleby (Aus) 66 69 70
206 D.A. Points 64 70 72, Hunter Mahan 69 69 68, Daniel Chopra (Swe) 66 68 72, Steve Marino 73 65 68, Davis Love III 69 67 70, Brandt Snedeker 68 70 68
207 Robert Garrigus 70 68 69, Justin Rose (Eng) 67 71 69, Ryan Palmer 69 67 71, Matt Bettencourt 70 71 66, Mark Wilson 70 67 70, Fred Couples 72 67 68
208 Charley Hoffman 71 69 68, Ted Purdy 73 66 69, James Nitties (Aus) 71 67 70, Kevin Streelman 70 67 71, Nathan Green (Aus) 71 71 66, Vijay Singh (Fij) 70 68 70, Marc Leishman (Aus) 70 71 67, Tim Petrovic 68 71 69, Y.E. Yang (Kor) 67 71 70
209 Charles Warren 73 67 69, Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 72 68 69, Bill Lunde 70 68 71, Sean O’Hair 69 72 68, Steve Elkington (Aus) 65 73 71, Jason Bohn 72 70 67
210 Scott McCarron 72 65 73, Dean Wilson 69 69 72
211 J J Henry 76 66 69, Rocco Mediate 70 69 72, Chez Reavie 70 71 70
212 Jason Dufner 72 69 71, Steve Flesch 69 72 71, Bo Van Pelt 69 72 71, Nick O’Hern (Aus) 71 70 71, Peter Lonard (Aus) 70 70 72
213 Bart Bryant 68 72 73, John Senden (Aus) 71 70 72, Jeff Quinney 69 73 71, Harrison Frazar 69 70 74, Nicholas Thompson 71 70 72, Webb Simpson 74 67 72
214 Nick Watney 70 72 72, Joe Ogilvie 69 72 73, Mike Weir (Can) 71 71 72, Notah Begay III 70 72 72
215 Paul Goydos 73 68 74, Matt Hill 71 69 75
216 Michael Letzig 68 74 74, Brian Davis (Eng) 70 72 74, Chris Stroud 74 67 75, Chris DiMarco 70 72 74, David Mathis 71 71 74
217 Ricky Barnes 70 72 75, Kevin Stadler 69 73 75, Martin Laird (Sco) 70 71 76, Troy Matteson 69 71 77
219 Jeff Maggert 72 70 77
220 Marc Turnesa 71 69 80, James Driscoll 70 70 80

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