Tiger Woods says he is playing the best golf of his life. He's also in his favorite spot on the leader board.
"I love when people have to come get me," Woods said yesterday after a 2-under 70 gave him a two-shot lead over Vijay Singh with David Duval another three strokes back after three rounds of the Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio. "I love to feel that intensity, that fight."
Woods entered the third round with a one-stroke lead over Singh and Lee Janzen, but birdies at Nos. 4 and 5 helped push the lead to four shots.
Singh, the reigning PGA Championship winner, picked up two birdies over the next five holes, however, and almost caught Woods on the 12th.
Woods flew the green on the 160-yard, par-3 signature hole, landing in a large trap behind the narrow green while Singh's tee shot came to rest five feet from the cup.
Woods blasted six feet past the hole and missed the par putt, but Singh's birdie putt for a tie rolled off the right edge as he settled for par.
"We had a lot of holes left. So many holes," Woods said. "We still had a lot of birdie holes and bogey holes coming up, holes where if you get careless you make some mistakes."
Still clinging to his one-shot lead, Woods got to 12 under and doubled his lead when he blasted out of a greenside bunker and hit a downhill six-foot birdie putt at 15.
Both players parred out, although Woods lost an opportunity at the closing hole when he missed a six-foot birdie putt and Singh salvaged par after an errant drive and a shot into the front bunker.
Woods, never higher than 51st in two previous Memorials, is at 12-under 204 after a 70. Singh, who won the Memorial two years ago, shot a 71 to get to 206.
SENIORS: Using his unique slapshot style swing, Allen Doyle shot a 6-under-par 66 and opened a four-shot lead over Lee Trevino after two rounds of the $1.1 million NFL Golf Classic in Clifton, N.J. Doyle is at 11-under 133.
Bob Charles, Joe Inman and John Bland were another stroke back and one ahead of a group that included Dana Quigley, whose 65 was the day's best score.
In the NFL players' portion of the event, Tennessee place kicker Al Del Greco shot a football players' record 3-under 69 to beat two-time defending champion Trent Dilfer of the Buccaneers.
EUROPE: In Ware, England, Darren Clarke birdied the last five holes for the second day in a row for a 67 to take a five-stroke lead in the $1.1 million English Open.
CAPTION: Tiger Woods drives off third tee en route to round of 70 and a two-shot lead after three rounds of the Memorial.