Singh Seeks East Lake Redemption

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ATLANTA ' Sunday will let Vijay Singh know whether East Lake Golf Club owes him or owns him.
 
After a pair of frustrating finishes at this venue, Singh will take a commanding three-shot lead into the final round of The Tour Championship.
 
Singh rolled in an 82-foot eagle at the par-5 15th en route to shooting 5-under 65. He stands at 9-under-par 201 for the tournament.
 
Overnight leader Charles Howell III is now alone in second place. The 23-year-old Augusta, Ga., native shot his second straight 69 to get to minus 6. This will mark the first time he has played in the final group on Sunday.
 
I'm very excited to go play tomorrow,' he said. 'Three shots is obviously a lot, especially against a player as good as Vijay, so I'll have to play really well to catch him.'
 
Tiger Woods escaped an erratic Saturday with a 67, moving him to 4-under. Hes tied for third place with Phil Mickelson (67) and David Toms (70). Toms was a co-leader, at 7-under, before playing his final seven holes in 3-over.
 
For the second time this week, Woods and Mickelson will be paired together come Sunday, and both know they have more concern than just their deficits.
 
Im not really worried what Vijay is doing. I have my own things to worry about, said Mickelson, who missed nine fairways and 11 greens in round three. I did not strike the ball well today. No matter what the (deficit), Im very thankful to only be just that far behind. And Ive got a lot of work to do if I expect to have a shot at it tomorrow.
 
Two years ago, Singh and Woods shared the third-round lead, only to be bypassed by a late-charging Mickelson.
 
It was the second East Lake disappointment for Singh, who held a one-shot advantage entering the 72nd hole in 1998, but bogeyed the par-3 18th when his tee shot took a bad bounce off the green. He eventually lost to Hal Sutton in a playoff.
 
Despite the end results, Singh has played as well or better than anyone both times this event has been contested at this venue. But why?
 
I dont know how to answer that question. Everybody has asked me that, he said. I just think it suits my eye.
 
I think it all starts off from the very first time that I came over here and I played well. So two years later, I came here, I had good feelings going again and I played well and this year its the same.
 
Singh played exceptionally well Saturday, making four birdies and a bogey to go along with the aforementioned eagle.
 
It was weird because where my ball was, thats where the pin was yesterday, and where the pin was (today), my ball was there yesterday, said Singh, who three-putted the 15th Friday for par.
 
I knew the line, kind of. But I was glad to see it go in. It kind of made for yesterday.
 
That bomb put Singh at 9-under, four shots removed from the field.
 
'I believe around 14 or 15 I saw that Vijay was at 9 (under), and then Tiger, myself and David Toms, I think, were all at 5 (under). So that was a bit shocking,' Howell said.
 
'I would have never have guessed that someone would have a four-shot lead on this golf course.'
 
One of the reasons Singh is leading is because he played the final three holes in even par. Woods, on the other hand, played that stretch in 2-over.
 
It was a frustrating finish to what was an exasperating round.
 
Woods couldn't find the fairway (hitting only 6 of 14) to take advantage of the lift, clean and place rules.
 
At the par-5 ninth, he hit his tee shot so far left that he decided to punch out into the adjacent first fairway. He then stuck his third shot to two feet and made birdie.
 
'It's great playing out of the fairway,' he joked. 'It's really not that hard. It's just that I didn't find it very often today.'
 
He again pulled his tee shot at the 10th. His ball came to rest near a chain-linked fence, from where he was forced to play his second shot left-handed. He saved par, but bogeyed 16 and 18.
 
The 2000 Tour Championship was the last time Woods lost on the PGA Tour when leading after 54 holes. Now hes on the opposite side, a side that hasnt been kind to him this year.
 
All of Tigers five 2002 tour titles have come when at least sharing the lead heading into the final round. His last come-from-behind victory was at the 2001 NEC Invitational.
 
Singh will be tough to catch, too. In this years Shell Houston Open, he took a three-stroke lead into the final round and won by six.
 
Tomorrow will be just going out there and have a good warm up and do what I did today, he said. Just hit fairways and hit the greens and make the putts and just play my own game. Thats what I plan to do.
 
'It owes me.'
 
Full-field scores from The Tour Championship