Tiger fires 71, leads Bay Hill by one

Tiger Woods walks up to No. 9 tee with a two shot lead during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Tiger Woods walks up to No. 9 tee with a two shot lead during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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RBC Heritage

Hilton Head, SC - Harbour Town Golf Links

7:37:01 PM ET. 04/20/2014




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Tiger Woods moved ahead by as many as four strokes on Saturday, but a late double-bogey brought him back to the field and he'll take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Tiger, who shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday, is taking the lead into the final round of a PGA Tour event for the first time since his last win at the BMW Championship in September of 2009.

Tiger will play with Graeme McDowell on Sunday. A group led by Ernie Els and Ian Poulter are three storkes back at 8 under.

See how Tiger's Saturday round unfolded at Bay Hill:

• • •

No. 18: Par 4, 458 yards

Tiger uses fairway wood off the tee and stripes it up the right side.

With the rocks and water lining the front of the green, Tiger plays it safe and goes left and will have 30 feet for birdie.

And the birdie putt has eyes for the hole, but misses just to the left and settles four feet past.

Tiger makes the comebacker to card a 1-under 71.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (11 under for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Graeme McDowell finishes his round with a par to card a 1-under 71 and sit at 10 under. Charlie Wi shoots a 4-over 76 to fall back to 6 under.

• • •

No. 17: Par 3, 221 yards

Tiger doesn't like his tee ball immediately and it lands in the bunker on the right side of the green and will need to get up-and-down to maintain his one-shot lead.

Tiger plays a nice shot out of the bunker, leaving it about four feet under the hole for par. He puts it right in the middle of the cup to save par.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (11 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 16: Par 5, 511 yards

Tiger, 3 over his past two holes, hammers a drive up the right side and it catches a fairway bunker, but should still be able to get it to the green with his second.

Tiger plays a beautiful draw out of the bunker, landing it on the green and setting up a 25-foot eagle try.

Tiger's eagle putt never moves back to the right, but he taps in for another birdie to keep his one-shot lead.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (11 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Graeme McDowell makes a birdie putt on the 17th to move to 10 under.

• • •

No. 15: Par 4, 467 yards

Tiger hits his first poor tee shot of the day, ripping it out-of-bounds to the left, landing in a backyard. He has to play his third shot from the tee box and rips it up the left side of the fairway and into the first cut of rough.

Tiger plays an amazing fourth shot to about 15 feet, setting up an improbable bogey attempt to limit the damage.

And he misses and picks up a double-bogey, only his second double of the season. He leads Graeme McDowell by a stroke heading to the last par 5 of the day.

Tiger on the day: Even (10 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 14: Par 3, 215 yards

Now holding a four-shot lead, Tiger starts yelling at his tee ball as soon as he hits it, asking it not to bury. But it does, in a bunker on the left side of the green, where he'll have to play a chunk-and-run.

For the first time in 39 holes, Tiger wasn't putting for birdie, and his bunker shot shoots past the hole and into the intermediate cut behind the hole.

He chips just past the hole and taps in for a bogey, his second of the day.

Tiger on the day: 2 under (12 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 13: Par 4, 370 yards

Using iron for the second time off the tee, Tiger plays a stinger into the middle of the fairway.

From 122 yards, Tiger hits a high shot and lands it about 14 feet to the left of the hole. And he makes it, with the ball whirlpooling a bit from right to left before dropping. That is two birdies on par 4s in the past three holes.

Tiger on the day: 3 under (13 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 12: Par 5, 574 yards

Tiger tries to play a big fade from left to right and catches a fairway bunker, likely necessitating him to lay-up with his second shot.

But that's why he is Tiger Woods, he takes chances. And this one pays off. He rips it and it stays a bit left, settling in the rough just off the green and will have an easy chip to the hole.

Well, maybe not so easy. Tiger chips it right at the hole, but it doesn't stop and it rolls past the hole and off the front, leaving him about 25 feet for birdie.

He gives it a solid run, but misses the birdie attempt and taps in for a par. That was an uncharacteristically sloppy play on a hole that should have been good for an easy birdie.

Tiger still maintains a three-shot lead over Graeme McDowell.

Tiger on the day: 2 under (12 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Johnson Wagner makes a nice birdie on the par-3 17th to move to 8 under.

• • •

No. 11: Par 4, 438 yards

With long iron in his hands for the first time on Saturday, Tiger plays a stinger right down the middle of the fairway.

From 134 yards and downwind, Tiger flies it past the flag and sticks it to about 15 feet.

And he finally drains one. He learns a lot after Charlie Wi putts before him and Tiger puts in the middle of the cup, pumping his right fist as the putt dropped. The way he is playing the par 5s this week, picking up strokes on the other holes is a bonus.

Tiger now has a 3-shot lead over Graeme McDowell.

Tiger on the day: 2 under (12 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Ernie Els birdied the 18th to card a 5-under 67 and move to 8 under.

• • •

No. 10: Par 4, 400 yards

The site of his only poor shot on Friday (a pull to the left), Tiger takes 3-wood and hammers it from right to left and it runs out a bit and into the left rough.

Tiger has a delicate second shot over some greenside bunkers and plays it nicely, landing just on the green and it runs off the green to the left, but is able to use putter from about 15 feet.

Another two-putt for Tiger. His birdie attempt comes to rest about two inches to the left.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (11 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 9: Par 4, 474 yards

Tiger hits the right rough off the tee, but again has a good angle at the back left pin location.

From 173 yards, Tiger stares it down after he makes contact, but comes up about 37 feet short, but is on the green.

A nice lag putt from Tiger leads to another two-putt par, helping Tiger card a 1-under 35 on the front nine. It was a pretty solid nine holes for Tiger, and no one is really making a move on him. He continued to take care of the par 5s and got away with one pull. That's the kind of week it has been.

Tiger has a two-shot lead on Graeme McDowell headed to the 10th tee.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (11 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 8: Par 4, 460 yards

With 3-wood in hand, Tiger plays a low stinger that runs up the middle of the fairway.

From 165 yards, Tiger backs off the ball once and checks the wind, decides to stick with his club (a 7-iron) and leaves it about 25 feet left of the pin, coming to rest right next to Wi's second shot.

Putting first, Tiger gives it a good rap and it runs past by about two feet, which he makes for a par to maintain his two-shot lead over Graeme McDowell.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (11 under for tournament)

• • •

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• • •

No. 7: Par 3, 199 yards

It is getting very overcast at Bay Hill and it looks like rain might be looming, but there is still virtually no wind.

Tiger hits another green in regulation, placing it nearly pin-high and about 20 feet to the right.

Tiger looks a bit frustrated after missing this birdie putt, with the ball pushing to the right past the hole. It still settles a foot away and he picks up a par to maintain his two-shot lead over Graeme McDowell.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (11 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 6: Par 5, 555 yards

Tiger pummels a drive at the 90-degree dogleg left, sending it at least 30 yards past Charlie Wi. He should be able to attack the green with his second shot.

With 220 yards left and 3-iron in hand, Tiger gets away with one, barely clearing the water and rocks on the left and it runs up onto the green, leaving him at least 95 feet for eagle. It was almost instant replay of a mishit on No. 16 on Friday, but also got away with that one.

And Tiger nearly makes the epicly-long eagle putt, running under the hole and to the right at the last second. With about three feet remaining, Tiger picks up another birdie on a par 5 to take a two-shot lead.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (11 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Graeme McDowell misses a six-footer for birdie on the par-5 6th to lose an opportunity to get to 10 under. Meanwhile, Bubba Watson birdies the 8th hole to move to 8 under.

• • •

No. 5: Par 4, 390 yards

Tiger puts another tee ball in the fairway, putting this one on the right side and leaves himself about 130 yards to the pin.

With a wedge, Tiger lofts it high in the air and lands it about 20 feet under the hole for another look at birdie.

Tiger has a double-breaker for birdie and the balls funnels to the right at the end, leaving Tiger with a two-foot comebacker. He makes it for a solid par.

Tiger on the day: Even (10 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 4: Par 5, 561 yards

Tiger pounds a drive down the right side of the fairway, leaving himself about 235 yards to the pin. Tiger's drive was about 325 yards. He busted his tee ball at least 40 yards past Wi, and Tiger will need to take advantage of the par 5s, as he has all week.

Tiger gives himself another eagle opportunity, ripping his long iron into the middle of the green, about 40 feet from the flag. He plays his eagle putt to about a foot and taps in for yet another birdie at a par 5. He has eight birdies in nine tries this week.

Graeme McDowell birdied No. 4 right in front of the final group to move to 9 under.

Tiger on the day: Even (10 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Ernie Els is 4 under on his round to move to 7 under, only three shots back of Tiger.

• • •

No. 3: Par 4, 434 yards

Tiger hammers a tee ball at the 3rd and the ball hugs the right side and just trickles into the right rough, but should have a good angle into the hole location.

Tiger's approach shot hits the green, but leaves himself about 43 feet for birdie.

He plays his birdie putt perfectly, leaving it about nine inches to the right of the cup for a two-putt par.

Tiger on the day: 1 over (9 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson have both moved to 7 under, two shots off the lead.

• • •

No. 2: Par 3, 231 yards

With the wind behind him and using 6-iron, Tiger probably played one club too many, flying it past the hole and it runs to the back, about 65 feet from the pin.

Tiger hits his birdie putt way too hard and it runs past the hole by 15 feet. And he misses the par putt and picks up his first bogey since the first round. His last bogey was on the par-3 17th hole (his eighth hole) on Thursday, which was also his last three-putt. While he was barely off of each, Tiger has already missed more greens than he did all of Friday - two.

He still holds a one-shot lead, as Graeme McDowell picked up a bogey at the 3rd hole.

Wi starts bogey-bogey to fall back to 8 under.

Tiger on the day: 1 over (9 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 1: Par 4, 461 yards

It is really steamy in Orlando, with only a light breeze, leaving Tiger already in a full sweat. With 3-wood in hand, Tiger hammers it up the right side of the fairway, giving the club a little twirl after impact.

It is packed around Tiger, both inside and outside the ropes, at least 3 or 4 deep down the fairway.

From 182 yards, Tiger attacks the flag and trickles just off the green, but he will putt from about 15 feet for birdie.

Tiger finds a good line toward the hole, but it slips by on the right and he picks up a two-putt par. Charlie Wi picks up an opening bogey to give Tiger the solo lead.

Tiger on the day: Even (10 under for tournament)

• • •

Leaderboard update: 1:45 p.m. EDT

Charles Howell III continues his ascent up the leaderboard, moving to 7 under and three shots off the lead, using four birdies in his first five holes to vault into contention. Phil Mickelson had made an early move on Saturday, but is now only 1 under on his round through 13 holes.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 1 p.m. EDT

The course is offering up some early low scores, with Greg Owen and Josh Teater both firing 5-under 67s, while Seung-Yul Noh is 5 under thru 17 holes. Charles Howell III is three holes into his round and is 2 under on his day to move to 5 under and in a tie for sixth.

• • •

ROUND 2 COVERAGE

Tiger Woods vaults into a tie for the lead

Tiger Woods is back in a familiar position: atop the leaderboard at Bay Hill. Tiger fired a bogey-free, 7-under 65 to vault into a tie for the lead with Charlie Wi. Shot-by-shot

• • •

Wi, Tiger tied; McDowell, Dufner one shot back

Tiger Woods putted for birdie on every hole at Bay Hill on Friday. He shares the lead with Charlie Wi, while Graeme McDowell and Jason Dufner trail by one shot. Story.

• • •

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• • •

ROUND 1 COVERAGE

Tiger Woods off to a solid start

Tiger Woods took advantage of the par 5s on Thursday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, using three birdies on the long holes to propel him to an opening 3-under 69 at Bay Hill. Shot-by-shot

• • •

Charlie Wi has a change in fortune

Jeff Rude: Charlie Wi posted an octuple bogey last week at the Transitions. He had a shaky track record at Bay Hill. So, of course, he is the early leader at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Story.

• • •

Ernie Els wants to move past Transitions collapse

Bay Hill notebook: Ernie Els says that he is over his bad finish at Transitions next week, and he wants everyone else to get over it as well. Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson battles back to limit deficit. Notebook.

• • •

TOURNAMENT PREVIEW COVERAGE

Tiger says he is fine after scare

Hate To Be Rude: Tiger Woods gets a scare on Wednesday when he felt a twinge in his back, but says he is healthy and is showing a more cautious nature in dealing with injuries. Story.

• • •

Tiger needs to work on his short game

Jeff Rude: Tiger Woods seems to be healthy. And his ball-striking is impressive. It will be the work he does on the greens that will allow him to win over the next few weeks. Story.

• • •

Book review: Brad Klein weighs in on Hank Haney's book on Tiger Woods

In medicine, there’s a legally established principle of confidentially that survives the therapeutic relationship. Not so on the driving range, as Tiger Woods now knows thanks to Hank Haney's upcoming book "The Big Miss." Story.

• • •

Tiger has good and bad moments at Tavistock Cup

Tiger Woods seems to be healthy, but his game struggled a bit on Tuesday on Day 2 at the Tavistock Cup, settling for an even-par round during singles action. Round 2 recap

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