Chaska, Minnesota (AP) — A cautious Tiger Woods saw his lead trimmed to
two strokes after Saturday's third round of the PGA Championship, but
remained the player to beat as he chased a 15th career major crown.
who began the day with a four-stroke edge, fired a one-under par 71 to
stand on eight-under 208 through 54 holes while defending champion
Padraig Harrington of Ireland and South Korea's Yang Yong-Eun shared
second on 210.
"The narrower the gap the better," Harrington
said. "To get a win you have got to beat him by three tomorrow. That's
a tall order but everybody who is behind is going to think we have
nothing to lose."
World number one Woods, four shy of the
all-time record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, has never lost a major
when leading after 54 holes. Overall, Woods has 47 wins in 50 events
when at least tied for the lead after 54 holes.
"I've played well
to get myself in those positions and am fortunate to have won most of
those events," Woods said. "You have to go out there and compete.
That's what's so much fun about it."
Woods, who missed an
eight-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole, was careful to avoid a costly
mistake in breezy conditions at Hazeltine, the longest course in major
golf history at 7,674 yards.
"I just felt with my lead I would
err on the side of caution most of the time," Woods said. "I was pretty
consistent all day. Given the conditions and my position in the
tournament I didn't mind it."
Hazeltine has thwarted Woods
before. He birdied the last four holes here at the 2002 PGA
Championship but lost by a stroke to US journeyman Rich Beem.
Yang, who has a chance to become Asia's first major champion, matched
Woods for the week's low round with a 67. Harrington had a 69, a bogey
at the 18th dropping him two off the pace to put Yang into the last
pairing with Woods.
"Y.E. played just a great round of golf.
Paddy put himself right back in the tournament," Woods said. "It'll be
a fun day tomorrow."
Yang, who has shaved three strokes off his
score each day, birdied three of the last five holes on the front nine
and followed his lone bogey at the par-3 13th with birdies on the next
The 37-year-old from Seoul beat Woods at Shanghai
in 2006 but they were not paired together for the last round with a
huge crowd such as Sunday will bring.
"I'm nervous but I have
been looking forward to this," Yang said. "If I could concentrate and
keep my flow, not get caught up in all the rhythm and just keeping
playing the game, I think I will be fine."
Yang won his first US PGA event at this year's Honda Classic. Woods won his 70th PGA title last week.
"He has won 70 times. I've only won once. So 70-1 odds," Yang said. "I might as well go for broke."
has won four Masters titles, three US Opens, three British Opens and
could take his fifth PGA Championship to match the all-time record
shared by Nicklaus and Walter Hagen.
But if Woods does not hoist
the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday, this will be the first year since 2004
in which he has not won a major title.
Woods birdied the second
hole, lipped out from three feet at the fourth for a bogey and bladed a
chip shot 15 feet from the edge of the green into the cup for a birdie
at the 14th.
"I couldn't get a putter on it and I couldn't chip
it," Woods said. "My only hope was to get a blade on it and hope it
jumped and it did, bumped up and went straight in."
Scattered thunderstorms are in Sunday's final-round forecast.
all depends on the weather, how much rain we get overnight," Woods
said. "I think the greens are going to get softer. If it becomes softer
the fairways get bigger and you can get more aggressive going at some
of these flags."
US Open champion Lucas Glover and Sweden's
Henrik Stenson share fourth on 212, one stroke ahead of South African
Ernie Els and Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen. Three-time major winner Els
sank a 50-foot birdie putt from off the 12th green.