Woods stays in contention as Connors remains in the lead

Woods stays in contention as Connors remains in the lead

Like a fighter trading haymakers in a prize-fight, Woods responded by drilling a 22-foot birdie putt at the 10th to regain a share of the lead.

It remains to be seen whether Woods, whose last victory came in 2013 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, can get over the winning line on this occasion, but it should certainly be fun finding out. He marked it and called over an official to confirm there is no longer a penalty for a ball moving even after a player has addressed if it was clear he didn't cause the ball to move. A packed crowd followed Woods around all day cheering him on and seeing some of those trademark fist pumps every time he hits a good shot.

"I am excited. I feel good", said Woods, who's made just two bogeys in the past 36 holes.

"I didn't know I had the sole lead", Woods said. I played well, Sneds played well. "I kind of knew what to expect out there with a lot of people and lot of people watching, but I felt comfortable".

"I'm able to play more "feel" golf than I am just trying to figure out how to play golf again". I'm excited. I've been ready to go. He twice matched birdies with Woods with 12-foot putts, and after falling two shots behind and the crowd getting louder by the hole for Woods, Snedeker battled back with a pair of birdies for a 67.

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The galleries swelled with each hole, and among the constant, predictable chatter and screams came an occasional cry of "I love you, Tiger", from the mouths of women, men and children alike. He hit 14 greens Saturday and got up and down to save par (or better) three of four times. But this was the first time he has holed a shot from off the green this year. "That was nice. It was nice to get the momentum, keep the momentum going".

"I just need to get a little bit more tournament time in". And to have seen him under these circumstances, near the weekend lead, with major season approaching, was something approaching transcendent - even for those who saw it from up close.

Woods responded in style, blazing a drive 327 yards at the par-five 14th to set up a birdie that put him back at eight-under.

On Saturday, he played in the group behind Woods. "He's back in action and everyone's rooting for him". Justin Rose (-8), Brandt Snedeker (-8), Patrick Reed (-6) and Adam Scott (-4) are among the other notable golfers firmly in the mix heading into what should be an entertaining final round.

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