Tiger Woods set for historic hunt

Updated: Oct 28, 2019, 08:30 IST | AFP | Inzai (Japan)

US golf legend Woods leads by three strokes on final day of Zozo Championship in Japan; victory today will see him equal compatriot Sam Snead's all-time mark of 82 PGA Tour wins

USA's Tiger Woods acknowledges cheers from the spectators after getting a birdie at the 4th hole in Round 3 of the Zozo Championship. Pic/AFP
USA's Tiger Woods acknowledges cheers from the spectators after getting a birdie at the 4th hole in Round 3 of the Zozo Championship. Pic/AFP

Inzai (Japan): Tiger Woods led Hideki Matsuyama by three strokes with seven holes to play to stand on the verge of golfing history when the final round of the weather-delayed Zozo Championship in Japan was suspended due to bad light yesterday.

Record in sight
Victory for Woods today would see the 15-time major champion add another illustrious chapter to his astonishing career by equalling US legend Sam Snead's all-time mark of 82 PGA Tour wins. Woods, who is 17-under par, shook hands for the night with playing partners Gary Woodland and Keegan Bradle y in the descending darkness after parring the 11th hole in his fourth round. But the current US Masters champis taking nothing for granted and said he'll need to hit the ground running.

"Starting off on the 12th hole is not easy. It's one of the hardest par fours on the whole course, it's 490 yards," Woods told reporters. "It's going to be cool tomorrow morning, so the hole's going to play really long. It's important that I get off to a good start. It's a hard pin tomorrow over in the top right. I've got to do my job starting out." Japan's No. 1 Matsuyama, in the group immediately ahead, had clung doggedly to the coat-tails of Woods throughout yesterday's third and fourth rounds, delayed because of Friday's washout at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.

Matsuyama gives chase
After Woods had finished he still had time to induce one last mighty roar from the packed golf-crazy galleries hanging off every Matsuyama drive, chip and putt at the US PGA Tour's inaugural tournament in Japan. The world number 27's snaking 25-foot birdie putt on the 12th green somehow found its way to the cup in the gloom and Matsuyama moved to 14-under par, three behind Woods with six to play when the round resumes at 7.30 am Monday (2230 GMT Sunday). "I'm only thinking how to catch up and win the tournament. Let's see what happens in the last six holes," said Matsuyama.

Woods, who has led since his first-round six-under 64 on Thursday, yesterday shot a controlled third-round 66 to extend a two-shot lead over Woodland (68) to three over Matsuyama, who carded a 65. Rory McIlroy was the biggest mover as he climbed the leaderboard with a third-round 63, equalling the low round of the week, to follow his 65 on Saturday. He is fifth.

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