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History kind to Tiger with 54-hole lead

Tiger Woods at the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open
Getty Images

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods has given up 54-hole leads in a PGA Tour event before.

It happens every five years or so, but just one player has trailed Woods by at least four shots and come back to win with Woods leading, or sharing the lead, going into the final round.

With a 3-under-par 69 in Sunday’s completion of the suspended third round of the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods built a four-shot lead going into the final round.

“I played really, really well,” Woods said in a brief statement before starting the final round. “I hit the ball good. I putted really good. It seemed like I was always in pretty good position.”

In the 53 times Woods has held or shared the lead going into the final round of a PGA Tour event, he has won 49 times. Retief Goosen is the only player to come from as far as four or more behind Woods in that situation and beaten him. Goosen did it at the Tour Championship in 2004.

Here are the four times Woods didn’t close the deal when leading, or sharing the lead, in a PGA Tour event:

• 2009 PGA Championship – Woods led Y.E. Yang and Padraig Harrington by two shots, but Yang shot a 70 to Woods’ 75 at Hazeltine to beat Woods by three shots.

• 2004 Tour Championship – Woods was tied with Jay Haas for the lead, but Retief Goosen closed with a 64 at East Lake to come from four shots back and win. Woods closed with a 72.

• 2000 Tour Championship – Woods and Vijay Singh were tied for the lead, but Phil Mickelson closed with a 66 at East Lake to come from one shot behind and beat Woods by two shots.

• 1996 Quad City Classic – Woods was a shot ahead of Ed Fiori in Woods' rookie season, but Fiori closed with a 67 to win with Woods finishing T-5 after a 72 at Oakwood Country Club.