Woods storms back to get close to AT&T lead

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchangeJuly 1, 2012


After a massive storm passed through the metro Washington, D.C., area the night before, Tiger Woods fired a bogey-free 67 Saturday to finish one shot out of the AT&T National in Bethesda, Md., after three rounds of action.
The storm damage around the 7,569-yard Congressional Country Club course forced tournament organizers to bar spectators from the premises, USA Today reported. Security officials, media members and tournament staff and workers were the only non-players on the course.
Despite leading the tournament, the final group never had more than 10 people following them during the round.
Brendon De Jonge shot a 69 to lead the tournament by a stroke ahead of Woods, Bo Van Pelt (67) and Seung-Yul Noh (69).
Woods made up four strokes with his stellar round Saturday.
"I started off five back, and I needed to make a run," he said. "Whether we have thousands of people or we have a small handful of people out there, it doesn't change the execution of the shot. The shot needs to be placed correctly in the fairway and on the correct side and then fired to the correct spot on the green and then holed. That doesn't change anything.
"I played myself into good shape for (Sunday)."
Woods started off with five straight one-putt greens -- nine in all -- and needed just 25 putts for the day. He birdied the sixth hole and parred on the fourth. If not for missing short birdie putts on the ninth and 16th, he would be in even better position to win his 74th career PGA Tour championship.
"It was amazing that we even got the round in," Woods said. "The staff, maintenance crew, all the volunteers, picking up twigs and getting everything cleared out so we could actually give it a go today was an amazing effort. They worked hard. They burned the candle at both ends pretty hard to just get us out there today, so that was good stuff."
De Jonge, ranked No. 127 in the world, is in the driver's seat to win his first Tour title in 90 previous starts.
"It was actually really strange out there, and it took a little while to get used to," de Jonge said. "It's nice to have people out there and get the buzz and kind of feed off adrenaline. Obviously we didn't have that. But in saying that, I'm obviously very happy with my round and position going into Sunday.