Golf

Woods says 69 gives him a shot at Honda Classic

Tiger Woods fired a one-under 69 in the third round of the Honda Classic in Miami yesterday morning (Singapore time), and said the first sub-70 round of his comeback gives him a shot at leader Luke List.

List carded a four-under 66 at PGA National for a seven-under total of 203.

Woods, seven shots back on even par 210, insisted he wasn't out of the running on the demanding course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

"I put myself where I've got a shot going into tomorrow," Woods said. "I'm going to have to shoot something under par for sure. If I can go ahead and post a number early, you just never know."

The 14-time Major champion notched his first score in the 60s in nine rounds this year.

In fact, it's his first score in the 60s on the US PGA Tour since he carded a 68 in the third round of the 2015 Wyndham Championship.

Since then, debilitating back trouble had seen Woods largely sidelined. He missed all of 2016 before an abortive comeback bid in 2017 ended with spinal fusion surgery last April.

So far in his latest comeback, he's finished tied for 23rd at Torrey Pines and missed the cut last week in Los Angeles.

But Saturday's round had him feeling optimistic.

"That's probably the highest score I could have shot today," Woods said. "I really hit it good."

Woods hit nine of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation.

"The hard part has been trying to get the ball to go in the hole," Woods said.

List's second straight 66 put him one stroke in front of reigning PGA Champion Justin Thomas and former US Open winner Webb Simpson.

Thomas' five-under 65 was a seven-stroke improvement on his second-round 72. Simpson, who also shot 72 on Friday, carded a 66. - AFP

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