Vijay Singh made a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole that changed everything Saturday in the Chrysler Championship. A tournament that for most of the day looked as if it was up for grabs now seems headed for a familiar conclusion.
Singh recovered from two early bogeys for a 4-under 67, giving him a one-shot lead over Tommy Armour III and making a half-dozen others play their best golf to have any chance of catching the No. 1 player.
The 41-year-old Fijian has won five times in seven starts, and he has won 10 straight tournaments with at least a share of the 54-hole lead, dating to the MCI Classic three years ago. A victory today (2 p.m., Ch. 7) on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook would be his ninth of the season and make him the first $10 million winner in golf.
"I haven't won yet," Singh said.
All he has to do is think back one week, when Ryan Palmer shot 62 in the final round to win at Disney. That might not happen at Innisbrook, one of the strongest tests of golf in Florida.
"It's a difficult golf course to go low," Singh said. "I think I have to play solid golf -- 2 or 3 under should do it for me, I think."
Singh was at 12-under 201, and never had the lead to himself until his birdie on the 17th.
Armour was lucky to be only one shot back. His approach to the 18th hit the bleachers, bounced off a tree and dropped into the rough near the green. He got up-and-down for par and a 68, putting him at 11-under 202 and in the final group Sunday with Singh.
Jesper Parnevik and Kirk Triplett each had 68 and were at 10-under 203. Another shot back were Jose Maria Olazabal (67) and Tom Carter (65).
Jeff Sluman and Jonathan Byrd, the co-leaders through 36 holes, both got off to solid starts until they crumbled on the back nine. Sluman's slide started earlier, a triple bogey on the sixth hole, and he never quite recovered on his way to a 74 that left him five shots behind.
Byrd, who was 9 under on the back nine in the first two rounds, played his final four holes in 4 over for a 75.
Around the links
Kate Golden rolled in a long eagle putt on 18 to cap a bogey-free 8-under 64 and move into a tie for the lead with Grace Park after two rounds of the CJ Nine Bridges Classic in Jeju, South Korea. Golden and Park are both at 9-under 135, while Annika Sorenstam is three strokes back at 138.
Alastair Forsyth of Scotland shot a 4-under-par 67 to open a three-stroke lead over Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia after three rounds of the Volvo Masters in Sotogrande, Spain.