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Nov 5, 2012 8:43pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. Pat Angerer Jersey . —Even with a bizarre
sequence of events that cost Tiger Woods a comfortable lead Saturday, he walked
off the 18th green at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as close as he has ever
been to ending 30 months without a PGA Tour victory. He had a one-shot lead, and
no one in golf has a more formidable record as a frontrunner. He was hitting the
ball so well that Woods had the putter in his hand for a birdie attempt on 38
consecutive holes. And he was at Bay Hill, where he already has won six times.
“If youre in the lead, youve done some good things,” Woods said after recovering
from a late double bogey for a 1-under 71. “Thats how Ive always looked at it.
And its a nice position to be in.” Better yet would be posing with Palmer in a
trophy presentation. But theres still one round to go before that happens, and a
familiar face alongside him in the final group. Graeme McDowell, the former U.S.
Open champion who rallied from four shots behind to beat Woods in the Chevron
World Challenge at the end of 2010, didnt make a birdie until the 17th hole but
kept bogeys off his card for a 71. “Theres a fair bit of expectations on Tiger,”
McDowell said. “Hes looking to complete the comeback tomorrow, because theres no
doubt hes playing great. Hes got the ball under control. But hes got to go out
there and try to win tomorrow, the same way I do and a lot of other players that
have got the opportunity to win.” It will be the 40th time Woods has taken the
lead into the final round on the PGA Tour. He has failed to win just twice, one
of those times as a 20-year-old in his third start as a pro. Woods was more
interested in winning for the 72nd time on tour than the 30 months it has taken
to get to this point. “Im looking forward to tomorrow. Im looking forward to
getting out there and playing and competing again,” Woods said. “As far as what
it would mean? It would mean No. 72. Not a bad number, either.” Woods last won a
PGA Tour event at the BMW Championship on Sept. 13, 2009. He won in Australia
two months later to close out his season, but his life changed forever a short
time later in perhaps the most spectacular downfall of any athlete. That all
seems to be such a distant memory, even two weeks ago when he withdrew in the
middle of the final round at Doral with tightness in his left Achilles tendon.
Woods cut a more familiar figure Saturday. “It was a solid day,” said Woods, who
was at 11-under 205. “Just happened to have one little fluke thing where a kid
passed out.” He had a four-shot lead after a birdie on the 13th hole when he
made what he called his one bad swing, pulling his tee shot into a buried lie in
the bunker on the 14th for a bogey. On the 15th tee, an 18-year-old passed out
and a woman screamed when she saw it—all while Woods was in the middle of his
swing. He was too far along to stop, and hooked his tee shot out-of-bounds near
a swimming pool. That led to a double bogey, and McDowell tied him for the lead
with his birdie on the 17th. Woods, however, hit a daring shot out of the
fairway bunker and over the water to 20 feet for a two-putt birdie on the 16th
to regain the lead. Woods was runner-up at the Honda Classic three weeks ago
when he closed with a 62, though he never had the outright lead. He was in the
second-to-last group at Pebble Beach, though he closed with a 75 and watched
Phil Mickelson rally for the win. This time, its all on him. And hell be
alongside McDowell, who last August was asked whether Woods mystique had eroded.
Woods had not played for three months because of leg injuries, and McDowell was
asked if that red shirt meant anything. “Thats his trademark,” McDowell said.
“Really, I think thats all it is right now. What it means to him is obviously a
different thing. What it means to the rest of us … its not really something to
be intimidated by anymore.” McDowell is aware how well Woods is playing, and how
dominant Woods can be in the game. His focus was on a Bay Hill course that was
dry, firm and reminiscent of some U.S. Open setups. “The golf course is going to
be the main competitor tomorrow,” McDowell said. Indeed, it might not be just
them. Ernie Els rekindled his hopes of getting into the Masters with six birdies
in a round of 67 that left him only three shots behind. Ian Poulter had a 68 and
also was tied for third, while Charles Howell III (68) and Sony Open winner
Johnson Wagner (69) were four behind. Els is No. 62 in the world and needs to
crack the top 50 after Sunday to get an invitation to Augusta. He could get
there by finishing alone in third place—provided Matteo Manassero doesnt win
in Morocco on the European Tour, or Howell doesnt finish alone in second place
at Bay Hill. It gets complicated with the world ranking, even without a
calculator. Els hasnt even bothered to do the math. “I know Ive got to finish
... really, almost winning. Ive got to almost win, or something like that,” Els
said. “But if Im in, Im in. And if Im not, Im just glad my game is coming
around. Whatever happens, I feel like I can have a good year now. I feel like
the hard work is starting to pay off.” Els rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on
the ninth hole for a 32 on the front, getting him into the picture. His lone
lapse came on the 15th, and he did well to escape with bogey. His ball was
sitting slightly down in a fairway bunker, and Els hit the lip with his
approach, the ball coming back into the sand. He blasted the next out onto the
green and two-putted. But he birdied the 16th, got up-and-down from a front
bunker on the 17th, and knocked in a 15-foot birdie on the 18th. Even then, he
was five shots behind against Woods, his longtime nemesis and a six-time at Bay
Hill. “I dont want to talk too badly about Tiger, but hope he makes a couple of
bogeys and I have a bit of a chance tomorrow,” Els said. He laughed—and he
got his wish. Charlie Wi was tied with Woods for the 36-hole lead, but not for
long. He started off pushing his shots to the right, made three bogeys out of
the gate and fell back. Wi wound up with a 76 and was five shots behind. He
wasnt the only one. Jason Dufner, who turned 35 on Saturday, had a birthday to
forget. After driving into the water on the par-5 sixth and making double bogey,
he followed with three straight bogeys for a 42 on the front nine. He shot 77.
Bubba Watson was hanging around until he three-putted from just outside 3 feet
for double bogey on the 11th. Doral winner Justin Rose twice made bogey on par
5s in a 74. Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia each shot 75. McDowell was the only
player who never left the lead pack, even though he made only one birdie. He got
some help from Woods in the final hour, however, and now gets another shot at
him. “The atmosphere is going to be fantastic out there tomorrow, due to him
being in the mix,” McDowell said. Mewelde Moore Jersey .20 seconds.
Streitberger went down the 2,574-meter Olympic course in 1 minute, 26.68
seconds. “It was a good run for me,” said Streitberger, who was only 21st in the
super-G standings going into the race. Andrew Luck Womens Jersey . Sweden was
eliminated from Euro 2012 after losing to Ukraine and England in its first two
group games, leading some to wonder whether the 30-year-old Ibrahimovic, who has
taken breaks from international duty in the past, would return to the team when
World Cup qualifying starts. http://www.nikeindianapoliscoltsjerseyssale.com/dwight-freeney-jersey
. Thats why the San Francisco Giants felt so good about picking up their star
pitcher on a day he wasnt at his best. Brandon Crawford hit a two-run single for
his first RBIs since April and the Giants capitalized on shoddy fielding by St.
Vick Ballard Jersey . Geathers returns to the
Lions after a one-year absence following a serious knee injury in 2010. Adam Vinatieri Jersey . Dwyane Wade and
LeBron James turned around a season on the brink with perhaps the most
remarkable week of their high-powered partnership, capped off by a 105-93
victory in Game 6 Thursday night that sent the Heat back to the Eastern
Conference finals.KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The Kansas City Royals have purchased the
contract of left-hander Francisley Bueno and designated right-handed reliever
Ramon Colon for assignment. The Royals made the moves before Saturdays game
against the St. Louis Cardinals. Colon pitched 4 1-3 innings in relief of
ineffective starter Vin Mazzaro in Fridays series opener, allowing four runs on
eight hits and two walks. Colon ended up facing 22 batters. Coby Fleener Jersey. Bueno has appeared in
only one big league game, but it sure was a memorable one. He was pitching for
Atlanta against the Cubs on Aug. 13, 2008, when he was ejected after 2 1-3
innings for throwing at Alfonso Soriano. He was sent back to the minors a day
later. Bueno was 1-3 with a 2.85 ERA and five saves at Triple-A Omaha this
season. ’ ’ ’ 

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