Tiger Woods will need a Sunday charge to keep his winning streak intact.
Geoff Ogilvy remained bogey-free through three rounds of the weather-delayed CA Championship, completing a 4-under 68 on Sunday morning to take a four-shot lead over a slew of challengers at Doral’s Blue Monster.
Ogilvy was 16 under, giving him a cushion over Vijay Singh (63), Graeme Storm (63), Retief Goosen (64), Jim Furyk (64) and Adam Scott (69).
Struggling but still lurking: Woods, who shot even par even as just about every other contender went on a birdie barrage in the third round. He entered the final round at 11 under, and needs a rally if he’s to win his sixth straight PGA Tour event.
“You can see what the scores are, two 64s and two 63s out there,” said Woods, who hasn’t lost since September. “It can be had.”
Canadians Stephen Ames (68) and Mike Weir (67) were tied for 14th, nine strokes behind Ogilvy.
Third-round play was suspended Saturday after heavy rain fell in a three-hour stretch of the afternoon, prompting the delay until Sunday morning. Casual water was still visible in some areas of the course, and forecasters said more rain was possible.
World Golf Championship events are some of Woods’ favourites, given his 15 wins in 26 previous WGCs entering this week.
But Ogilvy looks like the one in total control at Doral.
The Australian picked up Sunday morning exactly where he left off after the first 2 1/2 rounds, making a steady, methodical charge through the Blue Monster. A birdie at the par-4 16th pushed his lead to three, and when Scott – Ogilvy’s countryman and playing partner alongside Woods in the third-round final group – bogeyed the 17th, the margin grew by another stroke.
“It’s nice. I played well,” Ogilvy said. “I hit the ball better this morning probably than I was hitting it yesterday, so maybe the break came at the right time.”
Ogilvy’s pursuers would obviously be aided if the leader, who hasn’t won on tour since capturing the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, dropped the occasional shot here or there.
So far, that’s simply not happening. His cards so far: 38 pars, 16 birdies, no bad mistakes.
“I don’t know how to explain that,” said Ogilvy, who tied for third at Doral last year. “Putting well helps.”
He wasn’t the only one putting well.
Furyk’s Sunday started with a 50-foot birdie at the 14th, ensuring that he wouldn’t lose momentum he gleaned Saturday. Singh finished his best-ever Doral round with a 20-foot birdie at the last, which likely made him forget the seven-footer he missed on the previous hole. Goosen also made birdie at the 18th, adding his name to the logjam in second place.
“I got myself back in the hunt,” Furyk said.
Woods is still there, too, although if he’s going to win, he’ll need to match his biggest comeback ever after 54 holes. He was five shots back at Pebble Beach entering the final round in 2000.
“I had four harsh lip-outs. That’s the difference,” Woods said. “Those go in, I’m only one back. But that’s not the case, they didn’t go in and I’ve got a little bit of work to do.”