Sports

Tiger Woods Is Now the Favorite To Win the 2019 Masters

Tiger Woods Is Now the Favorite To Win the 2019 Masters

Woods played the most dynamic golf he has all year with six birdies in his opening seven holes, building as much as a five-shot lead before he cooled off for a 5-under 65 and a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy in the Tour Championship. This is Woods' first 54-hole lead since his five-win season of 2013. Two bogeys coming in, however, including a great save on the 16th when his first chip shot rolled back down a hill guarding the green, cut into the lead.

Rose played with Woods on Saturday but because McIlroy finished his third round before the Englishman, he gets to accompany the 14-times major champion in the final pairing on Sunday. "I've got a bunch of guys behind me that have been playing well and are playing well".

Rose won't be in the final group, but he has plenty on the line even if he doesn't catch Woods.

The Tour Championship is a 30-man tournament and the final event of the FedEx Cup play-offs.

"For the most part, I did that". "But if I go out and I play similar tomorrow like I did today, I'll have no complaints", he said.

"I felt very comfortable when I got in the mix there at Tampa [the Valspar Championship] even though it was very early in the start to this year, " Woods said. He also lost a two-shot lead to Lee Westwood in Germany at a European Tour event in 2000.

Kyle Stanley and Spain's Jon Rahm are a further three shots back on six under, six strokes behind Woods.

"But for me, all I can do is concentrate on myself".

The 14-time Major victor is a two-time former Tour Championship victor and enjoys a remarkable record of winning 54 of 57 PGA Tour events when holding the 54-hole lead.

He trailed by four at The Open Championship and PGA Championship, and was five back starting the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide and his most recent start, the BMW Championship.

"You certainly want to be leading regardless, simple mathematics, but he's been a pretty good front-runner his whole career and obviously that's going to help, " said Woods' caddie, Joe LaCava. His flop shot didn't get up the hill and rolled back toward him, and his next pitch was a bump-and-run played to perfection that kept him from another double bogey.

That's big news for Woods, on the hunt for his first win since August 2013.

"I got off to a nice start and made some nice putts".

Rose has wider reason to keep Woods within view.

And so now the tournament heads to Sunday with a familiar focus, all eyes and hopes and narratives trained tightly on Woods and his crimson shirt.

The field also includes Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed and Phil Mickelson. Woods has had multiple chances this season to complete the comeback and he's come up short each time.


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