Tiger Closes In on 82nd PGA Tour Victory

Tiger Woods is seven holes from catching Sam Snead.

Woods held a three-stroke lead over home favorite Hideki Matsuyama when darkness halted play in the final round on a marathon day of the rain-delayed Zozo Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club www.accordiagolf.com in Chiba, Japan.

Should Woods win, he will tie Snead’s PGA Tour record of 82 victories.

“Well, if I do what I’m supposed to do, and get the job done, then I get a W,” the 43-year-old Woods said after playing 29 holes on Sunday (Asian time) because the second round was completely wiped out by rain. I guess that will add up to the 82 number, but my main focus is doing what I need to do to get the W first.

“Being in it for 10 hours is a long period of time … the mind tends to wander a little bit and just got to grab it and make it come back and be 100% committed on the shot.”

Woods shot 4-under-par 66 in the third round following scores of 64-64, and after stopping long enough change into his Sunday red shirt, played 11 holes in 2-under before play was called.

Matsuyama, who won eight times in the Japan PGA Tour before claiming five PGA Tour victories to lead Japanese players, posted a 65 and was 2-under through 12 after making birdies on his last two holes, including a 25-footer on No. 12.

“I have a lot of ground to make up tomorrow,” said Matsuyama, who sliced into what had been a five-stroke lead. “I need to play well to even have a chance, but I will give it a shot and do my best.”

Gary Woodland, the U.S. Open champion, totaled 68 in round three and played 10 holes in the final round at even par, leaving him six shots back in a tie for third with Sungjae Im of South Korea, who had a 67 and was 4-under when the end came.

Second-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland carded a 63 that he capped with an eagle on the last hole and was seven down in solo fifth after playing 11 holes on the final round in 1-under, while eight-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State shot 65 and was 1-over through 12 and another shot back in a tie for sixth with Charles Howell (66, 1-under through 14), Matthew Wolff (67, 1-under through 12) and Billy Horschel (64, 1-over through 12).

Danny Lee of New Zealand totaled 68 and was 2-under after 14 holes to sit nine shots back in a tie for 10th with Corey Conners of Canada, who had a 66 and was 2-over through 12.

Shane Lowry of Ireland, winner of the Open Championship, finished by shooting 67-65 and was tied for 12th, and fourth-ranked Justin Thomas shot 69-65 and was tied for 15th.

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