Tiger Woods overcame a deceptive, swirling wind and an early bogey for a 5-under 67 on Saturday which gave him a two-stroke lead over Davis Love III entering the final round of the Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando, Florida.
Under a brief downpour at the end of a hot, blustery day, Woods made his fourth solid par save out of thick rough on the 18th to maintain his cushion. He was at 16-under 200.
Love moved into contention with a 9-under 63, one of the best rounds ever at Bay Hill considering the conditions.
Love made two eagles on the back nine, chipped in twice, holed two putts over 30 feet from on the fringe.
"I've always been a big believer in that they've got to come get me," Woods said of his first outright 54-hole lead since the US Tour Championship in late October.
That also was the first of three final-round beatings that Love has suffered at the hands of the world's No 1 player. He hasn't come remotely close to beating him.
"If anybody starts beating you like that, you start thinking, 'Can I beat him?' And he thrives on that," Love said. "He's No 1 - there's no getting around that. And he's hard to beat - there's no getting around that.
"It would be a big thing to be the one who jumps up on Sunday and beats him."
Woods' chief challenger on Saturday was Canadian Mike Weir.
Weir bogeyed two of the first three holes and had to scramble for a 72, which left him six strokes back at 206.
Unlike the damp, calm conditions of Friday, the wind swirled so much that Woods, Love and others often stood perplexed in the fairways, caddies at their side as they tried to figure which club to hit.
Woods went back and forth three times with a club on the par-3 second hole and pulled it left into the gallery, leading to his only bogey of the day. He recovered with birdies on three of the par-5s and brilliant touch out of the clumpy rough when he misjudged the wind and flew the green.
Australian Aaron Baddeley's 19th birthday wasn't a total loss just because he missed the cut. His father bought him "A Golfer's Life," the autobiography of Arnold Palmer, and had it signed by Palmer and Baddeley's three practice round partners - Tiger Woods, Mark O'Meara and Sergio Garcia.
Leading Scores after the third round of the $3 million Bay Hill Invitational on the 7,239-yard (6,587-meter), par-72 Bay Hill Golf course in Orlando, Florida:
Tiger Woods 69-64-67-200 Davis Love III 72-67-63-202 Mike Weir 70-64-72-206 Neal Lancaster 70-68-69-207 Stewart Cink 71-67-70-208 Skip Kendall 70-67-71-208 Steve Flesch 70-65-74-209 Billy Mayfair 71-69-69-209 Woody Austin 71-67-71-209 Olin Browne 74-67-68-209 Steve Lowery 70-70-69-209 Wayne Grady 72-65-73-210 Phil Mickelson 70-67-73-210 David Toms 69-69-72-210 Paul Goydos 69-69-72-210 Jonathan Kaye 69-69-72-210 Jean Van De Velde 72-67-71-210 Stephen Ames 73-66-71-210 Billy Andrade 73-68-69-210 Loren Roberts 71-69-70-210 Scott Hoch 72-71-67-210 Ted Tryba 72-70-68-210 Tim Herron 72-71-67-210
Mark Calcavecchia 73-69-69-211 Lee Westwood 72-68-71-211 Tom Lehman 72-71-68-211 Darren Clarke 72-68-72-212 Colin Montgomerie 72-71-69-212 Corey Pavin 72-70-71-213 Hal Sutton 71-71-71-213 Sergio Garcia 75-68-70-213 Ernie Els 72-68-74-214 Vijay Singh 68-73-73-214 Mark O'Meara 70-72-73-215 Bernhard Langer 75-69-71-215 Steve Pate 70-74-72-216 Stuart Appleby 70-72-76-218 John Daly 72-72-75-219Reuse content