Tiger, Kim set for final showdown
BETHESDA: Tiger Woods squandered a three-stroke edge midway into his third round but shared the lead with defending champion Anthony Kim after 54 holes at the PGA National on Saturday.
Woods and top foes unleashed US Independence Day fireworks at Congressional Golf Club with four men tied for the lead until Woods and Kim each birdied the par-5 16th hole to finish the third round on 10-under par 200. Woods fired a third-round 70 while Kim shot 68 to put himself into a dream first-ever PGA pairing against 14-time major winner Woods, the idol whose heroic feats prompted the Korean-American sensation to play golf.
Michael Allen, a 50-year-old American who has not won in 336 US PGA starts, and countryman Cameron Beckman shared third spot on 201. US veteran Jim Furyk and Australian Rod Pampling are on 202 with US Open winner Lucas Glover on 203.
Tournament host Woods, seeking his 68th career
crown, has won 44 of 47 prior US PGA events when leading or sharing the lead after 54 holes and has finished in the top 10 at 19 consecutive stroke-play tournaments.
Top seed Woods stretched his lead to three strokes with a 25-foot eagle putt at the par-5 ninth after blasting his tee shot 365 yards, leaving him at 11-under. Allen birdied the last four holes on the front nine and ended a run of three birdies in four holes at the 16th to pull within two of the lead.
Woods faltered on his nemesis hole, the par-4 11th where he made bogeys the first two days. Woods found a greenside bunker then popped up his third shot into another bunker and made double bogey, falling into a tie with Allen. Kim, 24, joined the co-leaders with a birdie at the 12th and Beckman followed with an eagle at 16 to create a four-man lead logjam.
Kim broke ahead with a
five-foot birdie at 16 and
Woods followed to tie him after his 4-iron shot stopped inches from the cup at 16.
Woods seeks his third title of 2009 after wins at Bay Hill and the Memorial. Kim has not won since last year’s National when Woods was out after knee surgery. Allen, whose 65 was the day’s low round, won his debut on the 50-and-over Champions Tour at May’s Senior PGA Championship.
His only other pro wins were at the 1989 Scottish Open and 1998 Austin Open on the
US developmental tour. Pampling, who shared third at the $6 million event in 2008, fired a 71. He dropped an 82-foot birdie putt at the 14th and a 40-footer at the sixth.