The course is immaculate, theres virtually no wind and the greens arent too fast. If youre hitting it well, its there for the taking.
Those were the words of David Duval, who took advantage of those conditions to the tune of 8-under 63 at the Champions Golf Club.
Check out David Duval's scorecard
Duval enters the final round at 12-under-par 201, one shot back of leader Scott Verplank. Verplank bogeyed his final hole to shoot 3-under 68 to maintain his overnight lead.
He started the day with three birdies over his first five holes, only to bogey the par-4 6th. But just as he let a four-stroke lead dwindle to two, Verplank eagled the par-5 9th by making a 20-footer from the fringe to move to 14-under. He wasn't as fortuante on the final hole, however, as he bogeyed after running his birdie effort ' again from the fringe ' 10 feet past the hole.
I scored well, I just made some mistakes, Verplank said. I was close, but I wasnt quite there.
Six players are three off the pace at 11-under; the list includes Ernie Els (65), Kenny Perry (65), Bob Estes (65), Sergio Garcia (66), Mike Weir (68) and Bernhard Langer (69).
You know, you got to shoot better than 68 or youre moving backwards, said Els, who is trying to keep alive a winning streak on the PGA Tour that dates back to 1994.
Tiger Woods was unable to do better than 69 on Saturday. After making the turn in 3-under 33, he recorded eight straight pars on the back nine and concluded his day with a bogey on the home hole.
After signing his scorecard, Woods bypassed the media and the range and headed straight to the parking lot. In frustration, he threw his hat into his black SUV, slammed the door and drove from the cursed course.
Tigers score was a bit of an anomaly, as nine players shot 68 or lower. The round of the day belonged to Jim Furyk. Furyk established a new tournament and course record with a 9-under 62.
Check out Jim Furyk's scorecard
He moved from 1-under as the day began to 10-under heading to Sunday.
I hit my irons as well as Ive hit them all year, said Furyk, who seldom had a birdie putt outside of 15 feet on the massive greens.
Furyk is seeking his first victory since the first event of the year, the Mercedes Championships. Meanwhile, Els is trying to get back to Kapalua for the seventh straight year.
The 32-year-old South African has yet to win on the PGA Tour this season, despite eight top-10 finishes.
That was No. 1 on my agenda this week ' get into Kapalua and extend my streak. Id love to do that, Els said. Ive given myself half a chance to do that.
Duval put himself in position to win his second tournament of the year by making seven birdies and an eagle to only one bogey in the third round.
The British Open champion is in great shape despite carding a triple-bogey-8 on the 13th hole Friday.
Today, I just wanted to shoot a good score and get back in it, he said.
The same can be said for Perry, who at 30th on the money list was the last man to qualify for this weeks event.
My goal was to go from last to first. I went out alone on Thursday and wanted to play in the final group on Sunday, said Perry, who was forced to play by himself in the first round with only 29 players in the field.
Perry nearly made it into the final twosome Sunday, but instead will play in the penultimate group with Els. He put himself in that position by recording five consecutive birdies from holes 11-16.
Chris DiMarco (Perrys third-round playing companion) said we need to start making birdies, and then I make five in a row. Chris says, I said we need to start making birdies, Perry joked.
Still, Verplank is the man to beat. He wasnt able to separate himself from the pack in the third round, but he didnt lose any ground, either.
I know that if I play well tomorrow Ill have a chance, said this years Bell Canadian Open winner. I do have the confidence that if I play as good as I can tomorrow, Ill have a great chance to win.
News, Notes and Numbers
*The final twosome of Verplank and Duval will tee off Sunday at 1:00 p.m. local time.
*Saturdays 68.000 field scoring average was the lowest one-day 18-hole average of the 2001 season.
*Estes was presented with the 2001 Fall Finish trophy Saturday. The Texan entered the week with an insurmountable lead of 115 points over Davis Love III. Estes has five top-8 finishes in the Fall Finish, which began in late August, including a victory in the Invensys Classic. Estes was rewarded $500,000 unofficial.
Full-field scores from The Tour Championship