Tulsa, August 12:
Tiger Woods followed his record-tying 63 with a less spectacular one-under 69 on Saturday, still good enough to extend his lead to three shots going into the final round of the US PGA Championship.
He made 15 pars to leave Canadaâ€™s Stephen Ames as his closest pursuer. Woods is unbeaten in 12 tries when going into the final round of major with at least a share of the lead, and he has never lost any tournament when leading by more than one shot after 54 holes.
â€œThe statistics will tell you, yes, it is over,â€ Ernie Els said after a 69 left him six shots behind. Woods had birdies at Nos 4 and 12, that allowed him to keep his distance from Scott Verplank and the rest of the field.
Woods finished at 7-under 203 and will play in the final round of a major for the third time this year. Ames made a 12-foot birdie on the final hole for a 69 that put him in the final group of a major for the first time.
Only five players remained under par. Woody Austin lost his chance to be in the final group when he took bogey on the final hole for a 69, leaving him at 207. Johnson Senden had a 69 and was another shot back, followed by Els.
Verplank held his own until a double bogey on the 12th hole, and a three-putt from the back of the 18th green for bogey sent him to a 74. Verplank dribbled an 8-foot birdie putt at No 4 to reach 5 under, only to watch Woods hole a 6-foot putt to match his birdie and restore the margin to two shots.
Woods atoned for a poor chip on the third with a 10-foot par save, and saved par from 10 feet again on the eighth. His streak of 24 straight holes without a bogey ended when he hit the bunker on the 14th. He led by five shots on the back nine until that bogey on 14. Even so, it was his largest lead going into the final round of a major since the 2005 Masters, which he won over Chris DiMarco.