Tiger Woods Within Striking Distance Of First Win Since 2013

FacebookPinterestMike Ehrmann  Getty Images Mickelson says he's got more victories in him after winning his 43rd career PGA Tour title in Mexico

But as the only player to break 70 in each of the first three rounds, Conners is potentially one more good round away from a win that would bring with it a two-year exemption and a return to the Masters, where he played as an amateur in 2015. As in, he was literally not in the field this time last week. "It's fun seeing him out there, and I'm sure he'll be battling hard tomorrow, but hopefully I can play my game and have a good day". "Wind's going to be totally different, coming out of the south this weekend". "Wasn't really too anxious about what was going on around me. Or am I going to be like this?" The powerful tee shots.

It might have been even better for Woods, playing in just his fourth PGA Tour event since undergoing spinal fusion surgery - his fourth back operation in three years - last April. "The roars are back", said Woods' playing partner Snedeker.

"I'm excited", Woods said again. I know what it's like. "Did I feel any pain? No". "Shots he's trying to hit, he's pulling them off".

When making the cut was a reasonable goal at the Farmers Insurance Open, he tied for 23rd. But Woods missed the putt low. He then birdied the fifth hole to get to -5 under and the outright lead.

Woods ended Friday in a five-way tie for second, two strokes behind Conners.

"I've played myself right up there in contention, so it'll be a fun Sunday", Woods said. But this was the first time he has holed a shot from off the green this year. "There have been a lot of positives".

Mitchell, White Reach Indoor NCAA Finals
For most of the athletes, the season wrapped up on February 23-24 in Geneva, Ohio, at the Big Ten Championships. There were highlights throughout the season, including an abundance of personal and school records.

"It feels good to be up here", Woods, who has not won since 2013, told reporters.

The 26-year-old Canadian has come out of nowhere.

Tiger played one truly bad shot Saturday-his errant effort off the tee on the par-three 13th, which led to his only bogey of the day. He arrived approximately an hour before his tee time, warming up in near darkness - and did not fare so well. "That's definitely a statistic I need to go into tomorrow with giving confidence", he said. "I was hitting it all over the place". Woods hasn't made double bogey through 54 holes at the Valspar but had three at the Honda, derailing momentum and his chances of winning the tournament. His body would not allow it. And probably the most important round I played so far, hung in there and stuck with it.

Thinking of that image of Woods and to now see him near the lead of a golf tournament just 13 months later is remarkable.

Woods's odds to win the Masters, as adjusted by Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, dropped twice on Friday on the strength of his performance, first from 16-1 to 12-1 and then to 10-1 - behind only world number one Dustin Johnson and reigning PGA Champion Justin Thomas, both priced at 8-1. Very glad for him.

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