Turkish Airlines Open: Below-par Tiger Woods fights to remain in the hunt

Victor Dubuisson is the runaway leader in Antalya

The shadows had claimed much of the 18th green when Tiger Woods entered golf’s closing amphitheatre. The gallery was stacked high on all sides to witness the great man knock one dead to keep the game alive at the Turkish Airlines Open. It had been a torrid few holes for Woods, who somehow maintained a decent-looking card despite spraying it left and right. Bogeys at 15 and 16, where he flunked a one-legged shot while wrapped around a greenside tree, ran parallel with the turbo finish of runaway leader Victor Dubuisson.

From one behind at the 14th he found himself, three holes later, trailing by six and was so far left of the final tee he was forced to hit a provisional. In the event, Woods located his ball nestled in pine needles, from where he hacked it in the general direction of the green. Fortune indeed favours the brave. Woods’s ball landed on a spectator path and was afforded a free drop. His pitch just cleared the fringe coming to rest 20 feet from the hole.

In fading light and on a surface he described as the slowest he had ever seen, Woods committed to his line and saw the ball snake up and across a ridge before finding the middle of the hole. Up went the arm, mad went the punters. This is what they had come to witness, the Tiger finale of lore. He wasn’t at his best. Neither was he giving anything away for free. “Just got to hang in there, just got to keep fighting. That’s the way I have always played,” said Woods, who signed for a 68.

“I didn’t warm-up very well and was fighting it on the front nine but getting away with it a little bit. Just finally caught up with me and I hit a lot of bad shots on the back nine. Somehow on 18 I made four.”

Dubuisson was mesmeric down the stretch, getting up and down when he was out of position and blitzing everything else. He drove the green at the 15th to claim a hat-trick of birdies and signed off with another for a muscular 63. “Sometimes I can be very long [off tee] when I’m under pressure, with the adrenaline. But here I just try to keep it on the fairway.”

The Frenchman begins the final round tomorrow five shots clear of Ian Poulter and six ahead of Woods and Henrik Stenson. “It will be very stressed, I think,” he said. “I try not to think about it [big names in pursuit] because if I do, I will put too much pressure on myself. I know Tiger and Henrik will shoot a very low score so I have to keep the same strategy.”

It was some day for French golfers with Raphael Jacquelin lowering the course record with a 62 to join Woods, Stenson and Alejandro Canizares. The US Open champion Justin Rose closed with a birdie for a 67 and starts eight back on 13 under par with Jamie Donaldson.

Suggested Topics
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game