Sunday, December 16, 2001

Singh leads Woods in Williams Challenge

The Associated Press

        THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — When the third round was over, Vijay Singh had a 1-under 70 — one of only three rounds under par on the day — and a four-stroke lead over tournament host Tiger Woods at the Williams World Challenge.

        Bernhard Langer climbed a tree. David Toms hit into a rock. Jesper Parnevik poured water on his glove because it was too dry.

        Singh avoided all the silliness, holing a pitch from the 10th fairway for an eagle and completing 54 holes in 11-under 205. He was in great position to claim the $1 million prize.

        “Everybody wants to win,” Singh said. “I don't think anybody is trying to have fun.”

        Woods missed four straight putts from 10 feet or less, three-putted from 10 feet for a bogey and was still only one shot back of Singh. Too bad he still had two holes to play.

        On the par-3 17th, he muffed a chip and then three-putted from 25 feet to take double bogey, a three-shot swing when Singh made birdie.

        Woods was at 209 and gets to play with Singh again in the final round today.

        The scoring average was 73.72, more than three strokes higher than the opening round. And it would have been even worse if not for Thomas Bjorn, whose 64 not only tied the course record but was a 16-shot improvement from his second round.
       “You golfing stud,” Mark Calcavecchia said to the Dane in disbelief. “Beat me by 12.”

        Just about everyone else got beat up, sometimes in the most bizarre fashion.

        Langer and caddie Peter Coleman climbed a large oak tree in search of his ball, which he finally found and shook loose. He took a penalty stroke and managed to save par.


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