Woods, in his first event since his runaway win at last month's Masters, stayed on course for back-to-back victories with a three-under-par 67 on the Las Colinas TPC course at Irving, Texas.
He birdied the final hole to score a 15-under total of 195 with one round to play, equalling the tournament record 54-hole score. His fellow Americans David Berganio (66), Dan Forsman (66), Jim Furyk (67), Lee Rinker (69) and Mike Standly (68) were tied for second at 13-under, while seven others were three strokes behind.
Rinker, who shared the halfway lead with Woods, held the outright lead after 15 holes, but he was on the wrong end of a two-shot swing at the 16th.
The 21-year-old Woods compiled six birdies and three bogeys, and he was the first to admit that he had not been at his best. "Overall today I had good and bad. I need to work on my swing," said Woods, who hit 11 greens in regulation. "I know what I am doing wrong. On my downswing the right elbow gets stuck behind the ball. There are certain faults which will stick with you for the rest of your life.
"What's keeping me in the tournament is my short game. I'm getting up and down, often from precarious positions. I'm going to have to play better. There are so many guys who could win. All you need is someone to get a hot hand with the flat stick."
Woods improved his record to 37 under par over the past 117 holes, since slumping to four over after nine holes of the first round at the Masters.Reuse content