Originally created 03/30/03

Woods emerges from early funk



PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - In his final event before he begins the quest for a record third consecutive Masters title, Tiger Woods is in position to win again.

Woods, who will skip this week's BellSouth Classic in Duluth, Ga., trails the co-leaders by five shots. There are 11 players ahead of him.

A victory would be Woods' second consecutive this season and fourth in five starts.

Woods fired 68 on Saturday, with birdies on his final two holes, and is at 6-under for the tournament.

"I'm looking pretty good right now," Woods said. "I'm looking to where I can legitimately get to those guys tomorrow."

Woods has come back from as many as seven shots to win on the PGA Tour, where he has 37 victories in eight years.

A cold front was expected to move into the area this morning, bringing steady light rain, temperatures in the low 50s and winds of 15-25 mph for today's final round.

"If I play a good solid round, it makes it a little easier to try and catch the guys," Woods said of the bad weather. "Any time it becomes windy, this golf course becomes ... it's a mystery to try and figure out what club to pick. You're going to see good shots end up in weird places. Hopefully, I can judge and it and time it right."

BACK ON THE BAG: After a short stint behind bars, Rodney Erb was back caddying for defending champion Craig Perks on Saturday.

Erb didn't show up for the restart of the first round Friday morning because he'd been pulled over for speeding on the way to the course. A check of his driver's license showed Erb faced an outstanding warrant for writing bad checks.

Erb was detained in Duval County jail for three hours before being released on bond of $513.

On Friday morning, Rev. George Woods, the PGA Tour caddie chaplain, caddied the final five holes as Perks completed the first round. Anthony Lingard, who is the caddie for Aaron Baddeley, the first alternate who didn't get into the tournament, took over in the afternoon second round. Perks shot 68 in the first round and 69 in the second.

On Saturday, with Erb back on the back, Perks shot 70 and is two shots off the lead.

"He violated my confidence in him, but from where I sit, he doesn't need to be fired," Perks said. "We talked it over last night. He does a credible job. He had a bad experience Friday. I know he feels a lot worst than I do for him.

"He was excited to be back and obviously, he was disappointed with what happened Friday," Perks said. "We've got to be accountable for our actions. He is, and he learned a great deal from that and I think he'll be a better person for it."

GAME REPORT

Grrrowl 7, Lynx 3

STAR OF THE GAME: Playing his second pro game, rookie Peter Flache scored a pair of goals for the Grrrowl.

KEY PLAY: Leading 1-0 after one period, the Grrrowl struck for four goals in the opening 4:34 of the second period to turn out the lights on the Lynx.

MINUS: The Lynx were eliminated from the ECHL playoffs for the second straight year.

MINUS: Leading scorer Andrew Williamson and third-leading scorer Jim Shepherd scored goals, but they did so in garbage time late in the game with the game, and the playoffs, already out of reach.

UP NEXT: Lynx vs. Pee Dee Pride, today 4:05 p.m., Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center

GRRROWL 7, LYNX 3

Augusta0 0 3-3

Greenville1 4 2-7

First period: 1-Greenville, Pe.Flache (Blevins, Theuer). 16:04 (pp). Penalties-Lapointe, Aug (holding-, 14:31.

Second period: 2-Greenville, Wismer (Henderson, Lynch), :53. 3-Greenville. Pe.Flache (Kaczowka, Pa.Flache), 2:20. 4-Greenville, Henderson (Fatticci, Theuer), 3:09. 5-Greenville, Theuer (Pe.Flache, Pa.Flache), 4:34. Penalties-Flache, Grv (high sticking), 7:11; Theuer, Grv (high sticking), 14:07; Flache, Grv (hooking), 17:36.

Third period: 6-Augusta, Szwez (Lapointe, Legg), 11:09 (pp). 7-Greenville, Lynch (unassisted), 12:16. 8-Augusta, Williamson (C.Thompson, Lapointe), 13:20. 9-Greenville, Henderson (Nail, Lynch), 14:49. 10-Augusta, Shepherd (Williamson, C.Thompson), 18:10. Penalties-Legge, Grv (hooking), :48; Deis, Grv (slashing), 9:40; Fatticci, Grv (roughing), 12:01; Holly, Aug (roughing), 12:01.

Shots on goal: Augusta 10-10-21-41, Greenville 7-8-9-24. Power-play opportunities: Augusta 1 of 5, Greenville 1 of 1.Goaltenders: Augusta-Draper (12 shots-9 saves), Cruickshank, 2:20 of second (12-8; L,7-8-1) Referee: Jon Mattson. Linesmen: Ben Shirley, Norm Eberle. A: 8,199.

Reach David Westin at (706) 724-0851.