Tiger Woods shot a course record-equalling 63 to steer the United States into a commanding seven shot lead over Spain after the third round of the 45th World Cup of Golf at the Mines Resort City, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Woods and Mark O’Meara, who scored a 67, have a 23 under par total of 403 in the $1,500,000 competition with Spain on 410 after Santiago Luna and Miguel Angel Martin scored 68 and 70 respectively.
Woods also moved clear in the challenge for the International Trophy, awarded to the individual with the lowest score, with a 15 under par total of 198 – five ahead of Phillip Price of Wales. Price stayed in touch by finishing bravely with three straight birdies in the hot and humid conditions.
“I didn’t put myself in any danger, and Mark and I kept our momentum going” said Woods. “I’ve amazed myself a few times – notably when I took $75 off Mark in a practice round at Isleworth in Orlando when I shot 59 without making birdies at the two par fives. That was the week before I won the 1997 Masters.
“What I’ve achieved this year made me very proud. I’ve had nine wins and seven in the States and the Deutsche Bank –SAP Open, TPC of Europe in Germany and the WGC-American Express Championship in Spain. I’ve done an awful lot of work and hasn’t been easy, but the results are the reward.”
Woods has won $6,980,825 from 23 events. The winners of the World Cup of Golf share $400,000 and the winner of the individual competition received an additional $100,000.
The reigning US PGA champion followed six birdies with a superb eagle at the 17th where he hit a six iron to 16 feet. O’Meara have four birdies but bogeyed the last.
Martin started with three straight birdies and Luna birdied the third and fourth to give Spain an early lead before the Americans swept past them.
Argentina moved into outright third place with Angel Cabrera and Eduardo Romero shooting 68 and 67 respectively to give them a ten under par total of 416 – one ahead of Sweden and three in front of Ireland, four ahead of England and five ahead of Wales.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, with two birdies in a 70, and Paul McGinley, who birdied five holes in a 69, finished on 419.
England, the defending champions, are on 420 after Peter Baker and Mark James shot 70 and 71 respectively. Colin Montgomerie brought to an end a remarkable record when he completed 36 holes without a birdie.
“I’ve never had a run like that in 12 years as a professional” said Montgomerie, who did birdie the last two holes for a 70. His partner, Dean Robertson, matched that score as Scotland finished on 427.