Tiger stirs into action as Garcia reverts to type

We've been here before haven't we? Sergio Garcia blowing a lead while Tiger Woods comes back from the golfing dead to set up a charge at yet another title.

Indeed, it was possible to forget recent events, recent personal crises as Woods went from being eight shots off the pace at the turn to finish within one of the lead. In a bizarre, brutal day in the desert, the stand-out moments were the obligatory Tiger 25-footer on the 18th. And dare we suggest it, the just as familiar Sergio calamity.

The latter came at the 17th. The Spaniard – playing only his third tournament after a three-month self-enforced break to recover his mojo – struck a drive he thought would hit the par-four green, but arrived at the putting surface to find his ball had ricocheted off a tree into a bush. "The odds of hitting an eight-inch branch from 340 yards are bigger than I thought," he said, waging his usual war against the fates. The offending limb led to a double-bogey six, which put the finishing touches to a back-nine 41.

Garcia went away consoling himself that despite his 75, he was on seven-under, just one off the lead held by Rory McIlroy, Anders Hansen and Thomas Aiken. Yet today's draw sheet might have marred his mood. He will play with his nemesis Woods. Cue the recollections of the 2006 Open at Hoylake when Garcia was decked all in yellow and Woods proceeded, in his own words, "to wop Tweetie Pie".

If he needs to, Woods will doubtless feed off the memory, but with 20 players within three of the lead the chances of it turning into a head-to-head are slim. In truth, Woods was simply glad to be in touch after an opening nine which featured three bogeys and a double bogey. That six at the par-four ninth left him eight adrift of Garcia, who had capitalised on the travails of overnight leader McIlroy, who also struggled in the wind.

But, in old Tiger style, Woods eagled the 10th, birdied the 11th, before his long putt with a four-foot break on the last effected the day's biggest cheer. Incredibly, he signed for a level-par 72. He clearly fancies ending his 15-month drought today. "Eighteen straight pars," he laughed. "I just told myself at the turn to get back to level par. I've given myself a chance tomorrow."

With more gusts forecasted it could be as tough. McIlroy showed courage to post a 75 after beginning with three bogeys. "There's been a few rounds like that I've let get away from me, the second round at last year's Open a prime example," he said, thinking back to the 80 at St Andrews. "I didn't let that happen today."

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn