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Tiger takes lead as British Open enters final day

Sergio Garcia has been chasing Tiger Woods for almost seven years.

He’ll get another chance to catch him in the final round of the British Open.

Woods’ shaky putter kept him from pulling away Saturday — and no one took advantage like Garcia, who surged into contention with an eye-opening 65 that provided another glimpse of his enormous but unfulfilled talent.

Now, they’ll play together in the last group Sunday at Royal Liverpool.

Tiger vs. El Nino.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Garcia said. “I did what I had to do to give myself a chance.”

Woods did what he had to do to keep the lead, but a 1-under 71 was his highest score of the week and included a trio of three-putts on the back nine. He did manage to sink a 3-footer for birdie at the par-5 18th, which sent him to the final day one stroke ahead of Garcia, Chris DiMarco and Ernie Els.

“I didn’t putt very good at all,” said Woods, at 13-under 203 after 54 holes. “That’s very disappointing. But the positive is I’m still in the lead.”

Woods and Garcia had a memorable Sunday duel at the 1999 PGA Championship, when a then-19-year-old Spaniard known as “El Nino” dazzled fans with his youthful enthusiasm and looked to be a rival-in-the-making for the world’s greatest player.

But Woods held on for a one-stroke victory at Medina and now has captured 10 major championships. Garcia is still after his first. “To shoot 65 with these pins is absolutely fantastic,” Woods said. “We’ll both go out there and try to win the golf tournament tomorrow. But there’s a bunch of guys up there. We’ve got to watch out for them, too.”

Indeed, this is hardly a two-man race.

Els, paired with Woods in the last group Saturday, birdied the two par 5s coming in and settled for a matching 71. DiMarco, playing with a heavy heart after his mother died suddenly a few weeks ago, pulled into the logjam for second with a 69. Jim Furyk and Angel Cabrera of Argentina both shot 66 and were only two shots out of the lead.

In all, 14 players are within five strokes of the lead.

As clouds drifted over the course but the breeze off the Irish Sea remained remarkably calm, Garcia matched the best score of the tournament by going 7 under. He gained most of the strokes on the front side, holing out a 9-iron from 167 yards for eagle at No. 2 and making the turn with a 6-under 29.

“I really had it going on the front nine,” he said. “I felt very confident with my swing. I hit a lot of good shots.”

Garcia didn’t hit as many on the back nine, missing a 6-footer for birdie at the 11th and settling for pars on the first two par 5s — both good chances to take his score lower. But he did make a two-putt birdie at the par-5 18th, giving him plenty of momentum going into the final round. “I played well on the back nine,” Garcia said. “I had a lot of birdie chances. I would like to have made a few more putts. I was a little bit tentative, but not too bad.”

Japan’s Hideto Tanihara also shot 66 and was at 206. Mark Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion, and Australia’s Adam Scott were another stroke back.Tiger takes lead as British Open enters final day

By PAUL NEWBERRY

AP National Writer

HOYLAKE, England (AP) — Sergio Garcia has been chasing Tiger Woods for almost seven years.

He’ll get another chance to catch him in the final round of the British Open.

Woods’ shaky putter kept him from pulling away Saturday — and no one took advantage like Garcia, who surged into contention with an eye-opening 65 that provided another glimpse of his enormous but unfulfilled talent.

Now, they’ll play together in the last group Sunday at Royal Liverpool.

Tiger vs. El Nino.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Garcia said. “I did what I had to do to give myself a chance.”

Woods did what he had to do to keep the lead, but a 1-under 71 was his highest score of the week and included a trio of three-putts on the back nine. He did manage to sink a 3-footer for birdie at the par-5 18th, which sent him to the final day one stroke ahead of Garcia, Chris DiMarco and Ernie Els.

“I didn’t putt very good at all,” said Woods, at 13-under 203 after 54 holes. “That’s very disappointing. But the positive is I’m still in the lead.”

Woods and Garcia had a memorable Sunday duel at the 1999 PGA Championship, when a then-19-year-old Spaniard known as “El Nino” dazzled fans with his youthful enthusiasm and looked to be a rival-in-the-making for the world’s greatest player.

But Woods held on for a one-stroke victory at Medina and now has captured 10 major championships. Garcia is still after his first. “To shoot 65 with these pins is absolutely fantastic,” Woods said. “We’ll both go out there and try to win the golf tournament tomorrow. But there’s a bunch of guys up there. We’ve got to watch out for them, too.”

Indeed, this is hardly a two-man race.

Els, paired with Woods in the last group Saturday, birdied the two par 5s coming in and settled for a matching 71. DiMarco, playing with a heavy heart after his mother died suddenly a few weeks ago, pulled into the logjam for second with a 69. Jim Furyk and Angel Cabrera of Argentina both shot 66 and were only two shots out of the lead.

In all, 14 players are within five strokes of the lead.

As clouds drifted over the course but the breeze off the Irish Sea remained remarkably calm, Garcia matched the best score of the tournament by going 7 under. He gained most of the strokes on the front side, holing out a 9-iron from 167 yards for eagle at No. 2 and making the turn with a 6-under 29.

“I really had it going on the front nine,” he said. “I felt very confident with my swing. I hit a lot of good shots.”

Garcia didn’t hit as many on the back nine, missing a 6-footer for birdie at the 11th and settling for pars on the first two par 5s — both good chances to take his score lower. But he did make a two-putt birdie at the par-5 18th, giving him plenty of momentum going into the final round. “I played well on the back nine,” Garcia said. “I had a lot of birdie chances. I would like to have made a few more putts. I was a little bit tentative, but not too bad.”

Japan’s Hideto Tanihara also shot 66 and was at 206. Mark Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion, and Australia’s Adam Scott were another stroke back.