Tiger Woods continued his dominance at the Cadillac Championship at Doral in Miami Saturday, giving himself a four shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round. Tiger led by as much as six shots at one point, but saw that cut in half when he left a tee shot in a palm tree on 17, before extending it back to a four stroker at the end. ESPN reports that Woods set personal records for most birdies and least putts through three rounds as he marches towards his first World Golf Championship title since 2009.
Tiger’s lead over Graeme McDowell in the Cadillac Championship marks the 17th time on the PGA Tour that he’s led by at least four shots going into the final round. Woods has never lost on the tour when in front by that much.
Tiger sank a short birdie putt on the 15th hole to extend his lead to six shots over McDowell. However, after McDowell chipped in for eagle two holes later, Woods left his ball 20 feet up in a tree and his lead was cut in half.
But Tiger Woods saved his best for the final hole. He sank a 15 footer to make his 24th birdie of the tournament to end at 5-under 67. That was also his 74th putt through three rounds, his lowest ever.
“You know, 17 was a really bad break for him. But in true Tiger fashion that we've become very accustomed to over the years, to come back and birdie the last, he was fantastic today”, McDowell said to the press after finishing.
He has never blown a lead this big in his career, and has won 19 of the past 20 times when he’s led heading into the final round on the PGA Tour. A win here would be a big step toward Tiger returning to No.1 in the world.
Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker are right behind McDowell at five back. “All respect to the way he handled himself today and the way he played”, said McDowell.
“He's going to be a tough guy to catch. But according to the forecast tomorrow, we are going to have strong winds. I think that's an advantage to the rest of the field…With tough conditions tomorrow, hopefully we'll have a chance”, he added.
Robert Lusetich of Fox Sports noted that as clocks were about to spring forward, Tiger looked like he was turning back time. When he asked Woods if he felt his game right now is as good as it was in the “glory years”, which saw the legendary golfer rewrite record books and win seven of 11 majors, he had a typical Tiger answer.
“I don’t want it to be as good”, Tiger said. “That was never the intent”. Woods wants it to be better.
Final round coverage begins Sunday on NBC at 3:00 p.m. EST.