Woods needs a rally to win

DORAL, Fla. --- Tiger Woods' unbeaten season lives on -- at least until today.


Woods, who is 3-0 in the PGA Tour events he's played this year and 7-0 worldwide since Sept. 3, will have to pull out one of his most miraculous comebacks yet to win the weather-delayed CA Championship.

Woods trails Geoff Ogilvy by five shots with nine holes to play today to complete the final round. It will be televised by The Golf Channel beginning at 8:30 this morning.

Ogilvy, seeking to go wire-to-wire for the fourth victory of his career, has shown no signs of slowing down. He's 1 under through nine holes in the final round and 17 under for the tournament. He leads two players -- Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh -- by two shots.

After that come Retief Goosen and Graeme Storm, three shots off the pace.

Ogilvy, whose last win was the 2006 U.S. Open, had his bogey-free streak for the week end after 60 holes when he left a 35-foot par putt short on No. 7. Moments later, Woods had a two-putt birdie at the par-5 eighth hole, getting within four shots of Ogilvy -- but gave that stroke back one hole later, making bogey after appearing to be distracted by a camera click as he teed off on the par-3 ninth.

The up-and-down trend plagued him all weekend.

Woods' chances took a serious hit in the third round, when every other contender seemed to go on a birdie barrage while he remained stuck in the Doral mud. Singh and Storm each shot 63, Goosen and Furyk shot 64s, while Woods could only manage a third-round 72.

Woods would love to remain unbeaten, but his main focus, he said earlier this week, is the Masters Tournament.

This will be his last start before he goes for his fifth green jacket starting April 10 in the Masters, the first major championship of the year.

Woods is intent on being the first player to win the professional Grand Slam -- all four majors in the same year -- and he'll have to win at Augusta National to keep that hope alive.

"You can win every tournament for the entire year, but if you go 0-for-4 in the year in the major championships ... you don't get remembered for number of wins in a career. It's the number of wins in major championships," Woods said.

On Sunday morning, Woods played the final seven holes of his third round in even par (all pars) to shoot 72. It was his highest round since 74 in the second round of July's British Open and first one-birdie round since the final round of June's U.S. Open.

Augusta native Charles Howell is 1-even through 15 holes of the final round and one over par for the tournament. He's tied for 56th place in the 78-player World Golf Championships event.

Third-round play was suspended Saturday after 3 inches of rain fell in a three-hour stretch of the afternoon, and the final round didn't begin until shortly before noon Sunday. Final-round play was suspended for three hours because of lightning threats. By the time play could resume, there was only about 2 hours of daylight remaining, nowhere near enough time for everyone to finish.

Players had about a 21/2-hour break before starting the final round, and with more storms in the forecast, some wondered why they weren't on the course earlier.

"I think we were all asking the same question, exactly," Furyk said. "I don't know. It seems as though that would have been the safest way."

Instead, most players will finish today, when Woods will need a huge charge.

"It can be had," Woods said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Reach David Westin at (706) 823-3224 or david.westin@augustachronicle.com.


The final round of the CA Championships will be shown today on The Golf Channel from 8:30 to 11 a.m.



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