Just seven holes stand between Tiger Woods and Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record of 82 wins. Woods was at the top of the leaderboard on 18-under-par after 11 holes of his final round in the Zozo Championship in Japan, placing him three strokes ahead of local hero Hideki Matsuyama (-15 after 12) before darkness fell at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.
Finishing his third round this morning with a 66, Woods birdied three holes on the front nine against one bogey in the final round. Pars at 10 and 11 kept him at two-under-par for the day and three ahead of Matsuyama, who birdied 11 and 12 to keep things interesting.
Gary Woodland was on 12-under-par after 10 holes, tied for third with Sungjae Im (14 holes). Rory McIlroy was in fifth place on 11-under-par with two holes to go.
Wood’s current PGA Tour title count stands at 81, with his last win coming via his 15th Major triumph at this year’s Masters.
“I’ve tried to increase it [the lead]. I figured if I stayed where I was at, I was not going to have the lead … I had to make birdies. The golf course was soft, it was pretty benign and I felt like I just had to continue making birdies. For the most part, I did that,” said Woods.
“It’s not that easy, considering that I had the stress of having the lead and being under the gun for that long … it’s a long period of time having come off of a knee procedure and haven’t really stressed it like this. Well, if I do what I’m supposed to do and get the job done, then I get a W [win]. I guess that will add up to the 82 number, but my main focus is doing what I need to do to get the ‘W’ first,” added the 43-year-old, who was making his first PGA Tour start since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in August.
The final round resumes tomorrow (Monday, October 28) at 7.30am. Play in Japan’s only PGA Tour event had been pushed back as the second round was only played yesterday due to heavy rain on Friday.