Mon, Aug 21, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Woods and Donald share the lead at PGA


The PGA Championship was wide open on Saturday, birdies falling from all corners of Medinah. Tiger Woods changed the outlook quickly with three great shots, making the final major look more like an open-and-shut case.

Starting with a 3-iron over the water on the longest par 3 and ending with a 9-iron out of a sand-filled divot to 3 feet, Woods ran off three straight birdies and matched the course record with a 7-under 65, giving him a share of the lead with Luke Donald of England.

Donald, trying to end 76 years of European frustration at the PGA Championship, has never been in this position before.

Woods has.

The world's No. 1 player is 11-0 in the majors when he has at least a share of the 54-hole lead, and he is 36-3 in all PGA Tour events. Woods had to work hard to get there on another day when making par meant going backward.

Woods took the lead for the first time with his third straight birdie at No. 15, ended 50 holes without a bogey on a three-putt at the next hole, then climbed back with a 7-iron to 12 feet on the scary 17th.

He and Donald were at 14-under 202, tying the 54-hole record at this major in relation to par. David Toms was at 14-under 196 through three rounds when he won the PGA in Atlanta five years ago.

Ten players were tied for the lead at one point.

It looked like it might be a one-man show until Donald hit his tee shot on the 17th into 4 feet for birdie to catch Woods.

They still have plenty of company, and some of those faces are familiar.

Mike Weir, tied with Woods going into the final round at Medinah seven years ago before shooting 80, also shot 65 despite a bogey on the final hole and was at 12-under 204.

One shot behind was US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, one of the few who was able to recover from a mistake. He took double bogey on the first hole, but scratched out a 68 to finish at 205.

Sergio Garcia, the runner-up to Woods at Medinah in 1999, hit another tremendous shot at No. 16 -- from the fairway, not the tree -- for a tap-in birdie that carried him to a 67. He and former PGA champion Shaun Micheel were at 10-under 206.

"There's still a bunch of guys. Basically, 9 to 14 [under] all have a chance to win tomorrow," Woods said.

But it all starts with Woods, going for his third straight victory and second straight major title.

"It's going to be a little different. I haven't really contended in a major before," said Donald, who lived in the Chicago area after winning a US collegiate title at Northwestern University. "This will be a little bit different pressure."

Woods will try to become the first player in the 90-year history of the PGA Championship to win twice on the same course, having captured the Wanamaker Trophy in 1999 by hanging on against Garcia.

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