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Hoffman consolidates lead as Woods falters on windy day

Press Trust of India  |  Albany 

Charley Hoffman played a solid two-under 70 on an extremely windy day to maintain his lead in the Hero World Challenge while Tiger Woods faltered with as many as five bogeys in the third round to slip down to Tied-10th here.

Hoffman goes into the final round as the favourite, having taken a five-shot lead over Justin Rose (71) and Jordan Spieth (72), who are Tied-2nd.

On a blustery day, Woods fell back from a promising Tied-5th to lose five positions while Hoffman extended his lead from four to five shots in his tournament debut.

First round leader Tommy Fleetwood (74) dropped to Tied- 5th alongside Patrick Reed (71), Rickie Fowler (72), Matt Kuchar (72) and defending champion Hideki Matsuyama (72).

For Woods the best part of the day on the course seemed to have come before the round when he hugged his kids, his 10 -year-old daughter Sam and 8-year-old son Charlie, who flew over from

However on the course, it was all struggle for the 41- year-old tournament host until he recovered with birdies on 14th and 17th hole.

Hoffman may not have won since May 2016 when he took the Texas Open, but has had a great 2017. He had two second place finishes, two third place and as many other Top-10s in 2017 besides contending at the Masters and the US Open.

The wind at 20 miles per hour at times was at its strongest as only two players carded 70 each

Hoffman and Daniel Berger who is in the back of the pack at Tied-16th while three others Rose, Molinari and Reed were under par with 71 each.

Woods, playing a third round in any tournament for the first time since the Hero Challenge last year, was hoping to get into contention.

He was three-under through four holes and 5-under through nine on Friday, he was 4-over in the first seven holes. He added a fifth bogey on 10th and was birdie-less till he arrived at the 14th.

His woes saw 11 holes in succession with hitting a green in regulation and he did not have a birdie putt in four of five par-5s. When he finally did make a birdie, he doffed his cap to acknowledge the crowd and held up a finger to signal his first birdie. He made one more on par-17th.

"It's ridiculous it took me 14 holes to make a birdie," Woods said. "At that time, I'd already played four par 5s and nothing happened. Just one of those days. Anything I did right ended up in a bad spot, and then everything I did wrong, it was really bad."

In conditions that were just not yielding worthy scores, Hoffman had his share of troubles. But he did manage to find his way back towards the close just as he did on Friday, when he rounded off his 63 with a series of five birdies in last five holes.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 03 2017. 13:50 IST