x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Patience is the key for Woods as he plays it cool

Thoughts that Tiger Woods would run away with the US PGA Championship were misplaced on the daunting Hazeltine course as the world No 1 was caught by the chasing pack.

Thoughts that Tiger Woods would run away with the 91st US PGA Championship were seriously misplaced on the daunting Hazeltine course as the world No 1 was caught by the chasing pack. Starting the third day four shots adrift of Woods, the defending champion Padraig Harrington mounted a serious challenge as he stood over a birdie putt on the long 15th to take the lead.

The Irishman missed, Woods made a rare birdie at the driveable 14th, Harrington bogeyed the last and the gap between the two rivals became two going into the final day. Harrington, who had played four of his previous five rounds in the company of Woods would have liked to go head to head again but maybe his late lapse on Saturday worked in his favour because he was far more composed playing ahead of Woods than he had been in Friday's second round.

"I have to beat Tiger by three shots over the last 18 holes which is a tall order," said Harrington, who shares second place with Korean YE Yang. "But I'm going to give it a go and play my shots. Everybody who is behind is going to think we have nothing to lose." Woods, who is seeking his 15th major title and his fifth in the US PGA, had a quiet day by his standards and made a string of pars from the fifth tee onwards until breaking the sequence with that birdie at 14.

Woods said: "I was just trying to be very patient out there because the course was playing a little more difficult. "I had the lead so I played conservatively." Sweden's Henrik Stenson was one of the big third-round movers with a creditable 68 which lifted him into joint fourth place, four shots off the pace. wjohnson@thenational.ae