Woods Els in Final Threesome

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Ernie Els knew when he arrived at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge Saturday afternoon that he would no longer have the lead.
 
The advantage on which he slept would vanish like a dream.
 
And well it did.
 
Tiger Woods (65) birdied six of his 11 holes in his delayed second round to take a three-shot lead in the Bay Hill Invitational, at 9-under-par 135, into the third round, which is currently underway.
 
Rain suspended play Friday for nearly five hours, forcing 61 players to return this morning to conclude their second rounds.
 
Els was the clubhouse leader at 5-under, having finished with a 65 last evening. That gave him the luxury of sleeping in, but he knew he still got a raw deal with the draw.
 
We definitely got the better end of the draw, no doubt about that, Woods said. They had to deal with a lot more wind yesterday. We didnt have that much today towards the end; its not really blowing that hard. Plus, the greens are holding.
 
Stewart Cink also had to finish up this morning. He made two birdies and no bogeys over his final nine holes to garner solo second place at 6-under.
 
Cink hopes to be more than a supporting actor in the Tiger and Ernie show. The three of them will tee off at 1:18 PM ET.
 
It will be great for the fans and (the media), Els said Friday. Speaking for myself, I just want to get better.
 
If I get to the level I want to play at, Im going to play a lot with Tiger, because hes on that level.
 
Aaron Baddeley (70) was at 6-under when the siren sounded to call off play last night. He made it to 7-under before finishing at minus-5. Hes tied with Els, Jonathan Kaye (70) and Rod Pampling (67).
 
The cutline fell at 3-over-par 147 ' it was 6-under last week at the Honda Classic. Seventy-nine players made the cut, including Orlando resident Ty Tryon. This is the first cut hes made this year, and just the second in his short professional career.
 
Tiger started the day one back of Els, having made four birdies and two bogeys in the seven holes he completed before play was suspended.
 
He quickly picked up where he left off, getting a 14-footer to circle into the hole for birdie at the par-3 17th, his eighth hole overall. He then birdied 18 after sticking his 177-yard approach shot to three feet.
 
Woods dropped a shot at the par-4 first when he couldnt get up and down from a greenside bunker, but he finished with four birdies over his final six holes.
 
He easily birdied both par-5s on the front, Nos. 4 and 6. He then made a pair of birdie putts from inside 10 feet at 7 and 9.
 
His 10 overall birdies broke the tournament record for most birdies in a single round (Andy Bean; nine in second round, 1981)
 
I got into a really good rhythm ' you never would have known if youd seen me warm up this morning, because I hit it awful, Woods said. Sometimes thats a blessing in disguise. Sometimes you hit it like that and you go out on the golf course and relax and hit it.
 
Relaxing is what Woods said he will do during the break.
 
Ill go home and get some breakfast ' again, for the second time around, Woods said. Im going to kick my feet up for a little bit. Should be ready by this afternoon.
 
Woods lives a few miles from the course in the exclusive Isleworth community. He said his girlfriend, Elin Nodegren, is resting at home after being released this morning from a local hospital after collapsing from dehydration due to food poisoning earlier in the week.
 
Woods is trying to become the first player since Walter Hagen (1924-27 PGA Championship) to win the same PGA Tour event four straight years.
 
He has been simply dominant at this venue, dating back to his 1991 U.S. Junior Amateur title here.
 
Even in my junior days I really liked playing here. A lot of the shots, especially off the tee really suit my eye. I usually hit the ball pretty good around this golf course, said Woods in a vast understatement.
 
And how is he striking the ball this week in comparison to his last three trips here?
 
Very similar.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Bay Hill Invitational
  • Full coverage of the Bay Hill Invitational