• AT&T National, Round Three

Tiger eyes third title of the year in Washington

ESPN staff
June 30, 2012 « Hampshire stroll to victory after Surrey collapse | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods reacts after making par © PA Photos
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Tiger Woods remains in the hunt for the AT&T National crown at Congressional following his bogey-free 67 on Saturday.

With the third round closed to spectators after a powerful storm brought down large trees on the course, Woods appeared to thrive in the absence of fans on Saturday as he moved to six-under for the tournament, one stroke behind leader Brendon de Jonge.

Woods, who won the competition the last time it was hosted by Congressional back in 2009, fired an early statement of intent as he opened with a birdie. The 14-time major champion, who started the day five shots off the lead, continued to make his move up the leaderboard, picking up his third birdie of the day with a chip-in at the sixth.

A solid back nine, which included a birdie on the par-three 10th, allowed Woods to put himself in contention heading into the final round. However, Woods may live to regret a short-putt miss on the 16th which would have seen him claim a share of the overnight lead.

De Jonge, who has not won on the PGA Tour in 90 starts, carded a two-under 69 in the third round. The Zimbabwean's only bogey came on the par-four 14th to wind up seven-under.

Bo Van Pelt and South Korea's Seung-Yul Noh joined Woods on six-under. Van Pelt shot 67 courtesy of four birdies on the front nine, while Noh backed up his second-round 68 with a round of two-under.

Houston Open winner Hunter Mahan is a further shot adrift after a disappointing round of 73. While Mahan slipped to five-under, Billy Hurley III shot the round of day with a 66 to move up to the same score.

Greg Owen was left to rue what might have been as he was left to rue a pair of double bogeys in an otherwise flawless round. Unlike Friday, when he opened with a pair of bogeys, the Englishman kicked off his round with back-to-back birdies and picked up another two shots befor the turn.

He did make four more birdies on the back nine, but it was negated by double bogeys at 11 and 17 as he signed for a 67 to move to one-under.

Compatriot Brian Davis was unable to replicate his improved second-round form as he carded a one-over 72 to slump to two-over for the tournament, one shot ahead of Scotland's Martin Laird.

2011 British Open runner-up Dustin Johnson, meanwhile, is well off the pace at four-over heading into the decisive round.

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