Woods in a familiar spot - leading in Atlanta

Tiger Woods put together his best consecutive rounds in more than four years. The result was a share of the 54–hole lead, a place it seems he hasn't been in forever.

Playing his best golf of the year in the season–ending Tour Championship, Woods ran off four straight birdies Saturday at East Lake for a 5–under 65, leaving him tied with 50–year–old Jay Haas.

Woods has won 30 of 32 events when he has had at least a share of the lead entering the final round.

The last time he held the 54–hole lead was last year at the American Express Championship just north of Atlanta. That was 19 stroke–play tournaments ago, which also is the last time Woods won such an event.

"I'm going to give it my best," Woods said.

Haas recovered from two early bogeys and shot 68, making a 6–foot par putt on the final hole to join Woods at 9–under 201.

Woods has won 40 times in his eight–plus years on tour, including eight majors.

Haas has gone 11 years since his ninth career victory, the 1993 Texas Open. He has been atop the leaderboard going into the final round only three times since then.

"I definitely won't be the favorite tomorrow," Haas said. "But what he does shouldn't affect what I do."

U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa also made four straight birdies playing with Woods and had the outright lead until he failed to save par from two bunkers on the back nine. He shot 69 and was four shots behind, along with Canada's Mike Weir (67) and Stephen Ames (70) of Trinidad and Tobago.

Vijay Singh's bid to finish the year with 10 victories – the most since Sam Snead won 11 times in 1954 – crashed with an indifferent round of 70 that left him 11 shots out of the lead.

"You've got to be in contention to be 100 percent into it," Singh said. "I'm just not into it."

Woods got himself into the mix with his two lowest consecutive rounds (64–65) since he won the Canadian Open four years ago by closing with 64–65–64.

Woods' only bogey over the last two days was a three–putt from some 50 feet on the opening hole Saturday. But he Woods recovered with some clean shots and timely putts – a 9–iron to 10 feet on No. 8 and to 12 feet on No. 9, followed by a couple of 30–footers down the slope that trickled into the cup on their last roll.

He suddenly looked like the Woods of old, pumping his fist, pointing at the cup when the ball disappeared. Even a few breaks started falling his way, none greater than a wayward drive on the 17th that landed on the grassy slope of a bunker and stopped in a patch of short grass between two traps.

But while a victory might take some of the sting out of a frustrating year, this might be one case where Woods could be the spoiler.

Haas has been one of the more amazing stories in golf the last two years. Despite being eligible for the 50–and–over Champions Tour, he has continued to tee it up against the best with strong results. He was the second–oldest player to compete in the Ryder Cup, and he became the oldest to qualify for the Tour Championship.

All he has to do now is take down the most formidable closer in golf for his first victory in more than a decade.

"It probably takes a little pressure off me," Haas said. "If I don't win, everybody will say, 'Well, my goodness, he's up against one of the best players in the world and he's 50 years old,' and all that stuff. That's kind of disrespecting myself if I think that way.

"I can do it. I've got to think that."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
filmCritic Kaleem Aftab picks his favourites for Halloween
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballBeating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Life and Style
Google's doodle celebrating Halloween 2014
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes