Woods eases ahead in Maryland

Tiger Woods eased into contention on day three of the AT&T National at Congressional - but there was nobody there to see it.

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The storms that have battered the mid-Atlantic left the Maryland course unsafe for spectators, so Woods was not accompanied by his usual whoops and cheers as he carded a four-under 67 to sit six under overall, one behind leader Brendon de Jonge.

Woods' round was matched by playing partner Bo Van Pelt who also finished on six under for a share of second, as did South Korea's Noh Seung-yul after a two-under 69.

Overnight leader Hunter Mahan could only manage a two-over 73 to finish the day five under in joint fifth, alongside Billy Hurley III who carded a best-of-the-day 66.

Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela was on his own on four under.

Woods was bogey-free for his round, which included birdies at the first, third, sixth and 10th, and he used only five putts over the first six holes.

The unusual conditions did not seem to adversely affect Woods, but Van Pelt joked: "I told Tiger that was a Bo Van Pelt crowd, so I was used to that. I was very comfortable with 10 or 15 people watching me play golf."

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Van Pelt also did not drop a shot, carding four birdies all on the front nine.

"It was nice to just get it in," Van Pelt said on www.pgatour.com. "I think we're all fortunate that nobody got hurt out here last night [Friday].

"It's a credit to the ground staff that they got this golf course ready. I'm sure if you saw pictures of what it looked like at midnight the fact that we played golf today [Saturday] is a minor miracle."

Zimbabwean De Jonge, who birdied the second, sixth and 12th, could have had a two-stroke lead but for a bogey on 14.

Defending champion Nick Watney was two under to sit five off the pace, one ahead of England's Greg Owen who went round in 67 today [Saturday].

Scotland's Martin Laird finished the day one over, one stroke ahead of Englishman Brian Davis.



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