Golf: Woods alone in class of 62

SUDDENLY, THE man who everyone said would dominate golf is doing so - and in a way that suggests his delivery is now permanently matching his promise. Two weeks after clinching the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods scored a remarkable eight under par 62 in the third round of the the NEC World Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

The result was the conversion of a two-shot deficit into a five- shot lead, the eclipsing of Fred Couples' earlier 63, and the extinction, for this tournament at least, of Sergio Garcia's pretension to his mantle.

In the first couple of days the two sensations were paired together. As Woods was quietly putting himself in position for his Saturday move, Garcia was in under the trees, behind the trees, everywhere but inside one of the trees. Sometimes he could not even see Woods for the trees. It is a measure of the man's magic that he kept pace.

Come yesterday he did so again - until Tiger came to what is often, for very good reason, called the turn. At the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th and 16th he fired in short irons that left him birdie putts of no greater distance than eight feet. He converted five of them and found himself five ahead. Indeed, about the only blemish in his round was the six-footer for a 61 he missed at the last..

Garcia, meanwhile, was his usual entertaining self, sinking a couple of long putts for birdies, but then, at the 15th, finally tangling with the trees one time too many. It cost him a shot and suddenly a romp was turning into a hard day. It became even tougher at the 18th when a topped seven-iron from the rough went all of 20 feet on the way to a double-bogey six.

It was proving a similarly arduous day for Carlos Franco as he saw shots slip away and his second-round lead comprehensively overtaken. But, being raised in serious poverty in Paraguay, he is unlikely to describe any day among the trimmed lawns of the Firestone Country Club as hard work.

Hailed as this year's Tour "overnight" success by virtue of winning twice in his first year, he is, in fact, 34, and toiled for years on the Japanese circuit. He hails from a country that has just three golf courses and, just to add to the degree of difficulty, is a Paraguayan who communicates with his American caddie in Japanese. He, too dropped a shot at the last, and is now six behind.

To win, Franco would need Woods to have a series of brainstorms. There would also then be the little matter of overcoming the combined might of the two Ryder Cup sides. Or to be more accurate, one of them. The other one, the one from Europe, was - Garcia apart - less than than illustrious, averaging more than two shots a man worse than the US team in the first two rounds, and only marginally improving on that in the third.

Paul Lawrie let slip a share of the overnight lead as he dropped shots on the front nine; the Masters champion, Jose Maria Olazabal, brought up the rear, thanks to a second round 80; Lee Westwood had a 70 to remain six over par; Jarmo Sandelin had a 73; Darren Clarke and Jean Van de Velde were so far back that their sub-par rounds of 69 and 68 respectively were barely relevant.

Indeed, Europe had only one player in a 41-man field in the first 14. Come back, Nick Faldo, all is forgiven.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
Researchers have said it could take only two questions to identify a problem with alcohol
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education are curre...

Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: You must:- Speak English as a first lang...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: If you are a committed Te...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style