Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the second green during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida.
Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the second green during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. Phelan M. Ebenhack

Tiger stalking in Florida tournament

MASTERS favourite Tiger woods will need one of his vintage performances at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Monday morning if he is to break a US PGA Tour win drought of almost five years.

Woods mixed six birdies with three bogeys in his three-under-par 69 during the third round at Florida's Bay Hill. On seven under, he left himself five shots back of leader Henrik Stenson.

The 41-year-old Stenson posted a 71 to move to 12 under, giving him a one-shot cushion over Bryson DeChambeau (72).

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy fired a 67 to be alone in third at 10 under.

In trademark fashion, 14-time major winner Woods refused to rule himself out of the contest as he chases a ninth victory at Bay Hill.

"I'm within reach if I shoot a really, really low round tomorrow,” Woods said.

"I've got a chance - I'm five back.”

Woods has had multiple surgeries in the past five years and his last victory came at the 2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

But in the fifth event of his comeback from spinal fusion surgery that forced a 10-month stint on the sidelines last year, Woods said his form was sharpening.

"I'm just happy to be back playing again, competing, grinding out there and trying to work my way up the board,” he said.

Following a tie for second at last week's Valspar Championship, four-time Masters winner Woods has ascended to outright betting favourite for Augusta National.

- AAP



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