Bob Tway doesn't have to be told how good Tiger Woods is or how often he has won to realize the challenge that awaits in the final round of the National Car Rental Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
"He has a lot of attributes that I will never have," Tway said yesterday afternoon.
Just don't look for Tway to start waving a white flag. Even a loss to Woods the last time they went head-to-head is a reminder to Tway that he is capable of winning a tournament for the first time in four years.
They were paired in the second round of the world match play championship in February and staged a brilliant duel. Neither led by more than one hole, and Woods hung on for a 1-up victory only when Tway missed a 10-foot par putt on the final hole.
"If you're able to hit the good shots and make some putts, then anything can happen," Tway said after his 6-under 66.
He'll get a chance to prove that today, when he and Woods go into the final round at Disney tied for the lead with the rest of the field unable to keep up with another birdie barrage on the Magnolia course outside Orlando.
Despite failing to birdie a par-5, Woods holed two long putts on the back nine, including a 40-footer for birdie on No. 18, for his third consecutive 66 that put him with Tway at 198.
"I'll sleep a lot better tonight because of that putt," Woods said.
The odds will favor Woods winning for the sixth time in his past nine tournaments. He has been playing better than anyone else since May, and Woods has won the last nine times in which he had at least a share of the lead after 54 holes.
"If he's on and you're on, he's probably going to beat you," said Tway, the 1986 PGA champion. Tway hasn't won since 1995, but he has been sharp this week, with rounds of 67 and 65. He has not made a bogey in 42 holes.
SENIORS: Bruce Fleisher shot a 4-under 67 and retained a one-stroke lead over Tom Jenkins in the Kaanapali Classic on the island of Maui.
EUROPE: Swedes Per-Ulrik Johansson and Robert Karlsson shared the lead with South Africa's Retief Goosen when darkness halted play in the third round of the Belgacom Open in Knokke, Belgium. The three were tied at 8 under.