PGA GRAND SLAM OF GOLF
Tiger Woods watched his approach shot to the sixth green during yesterday's first round at the Poipu Bay Golf Course.
Tiger feeling it on Kauai
Woods shakes off an illness to lead the Grand Slam by three strokes going into the final round
POIPU, Kauai » Tiger Woods didn't take a sick day.
Instead, Woods threw up in the bushes on the back of the first green at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf yesterday. He progressively started feeling better on the way to a 5-under-par 67 and a three-shot lead over Phil Mickelson going into today's final round at the Poipu Bay Golf Course.
"I asked (PGA of America officials) to give me the holes where all the bathrooms were, so if I had to go ... ," Woods said. "To be honest, I didn't know what was going to go out, the top or the bottom, so I had to know where the bathrooms were so I could somehow plan it out.
"Once I threw up, I felt a lot better. On the sixth or seventh hole, the nausea started to go away. I still had cramps, but I can deal with that."
The round didn't start so well for Woods, the Masters and British Open champion who is going for his sixth Grand Slam victory. He bogeyed the first hole and was three shots behind Mickelson after four holes.
"There's an old saying: 'Beware of the ailing golfer,' " Mickelson said. "Whenever he's complaining, we know we're in trouble."
Mickelson finished at 2-under 70, which is 11 shots worse than his finishing round of 59 here during last year's victory.
"No, I'm comfortable saying that that's not going to happen (this year)," he said. "A couple under par, I'll take it."
Mickelson, the PGA Championship winner, arrived after a 6-hour flight yesterday and warmed up for 30 minutes.
"Not touching the clubs the last five weeks was a bigger impact," he added. "When I haven't played much, I try to get a good rhythm. My misses weren't too bad today and I was able to get around the course."
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell started strong and was steady most of the day, but fizzled at the end and finished at 1-over 73.
Vijay Singh, who is a three-time Grand Slam runner-up and got into the field of four major winners as an alternate, is eight shots behind Woods at 5 over. A quadruple-bogey 7 at the 193-yard, par-3 11th hole put him virtually out of reach. He went into the drink twice and couldn't get up and down.
"I've got to play a great round (today)," Singh said. "Tiger is hitting the ball pretty good. He drove the ball beautifully. I've got to go out there and take advantage of the early nine. The front nine yields a lot of birdies."
With four birdies and a bogey on the front nine, Mickelson was at 3 under and two shots ahead of the other three golfers at the turn.
Woods moved into a tie at 3 under with Mickelson after birdie putts of 20 and 12 feet at Nos. 10 and 11.
"I tried to hang in there and I just tried to get through some of my symptoms," Woods said. "If I could just somehow make a few pars and an occasional birdie, I wouldn't get too far behind. Somehow, I got the ship turned around and made a couple of putts there on 10 and 11 to really get things going."
Both leaders went to 4 under after missing eagle putts on the 537-yard, par-5 14th. The hole, designed to play against the wind, played shorter with the Kona breeze.
Woods nearly made his 35-foot eagle attempt and had a wincing look on his face as it missed.
"I thought I made it," Woods said. "It was a little early walk there. Probably jinxed it and it lipped out on the low side."
The trouble for Mickelson began against the wind on the 501-yard, par-4 16th, the hardest hole on the course. His 3-wood second shot went out of bounds over a heiau to the left of the fairway. He chipped to 2 feet from 70 yards out and saved bogey, but fell one shot behind Woods.
Woods, meanwhile, two-putted from 80 feet to save par and take the lead for the first time. He also saved par on the previous hole (par-4 15th) with a 6-foot putt after having to punch a hook through some trees.
Mickelson went into the deep rough on the par-3 17th, chipped short and missed a 12-footer for par to fall two shots back. He also went into the water on the par-5 18th, but stuck a 60-degree wedge to 2 feet for par.
Woods took his 3-shot lead on the 18th with an 8-foot birdie.
"My expectations aren't very high," Mickelson said. "I haven't been working at it and Tiger just won a tournament (the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan) on Sunday. He's obviously on top of his game and I'm a bit rusty."
Campbell birdied the second hole and parred the next eight holes. He briefly went to 2 under twice with birdies on the 10th and the 14th, but fell all the way to 1 over with bogeys at Nos. 11, 15, 16 and 17. His miss from 6 feet for eagle on the 14th that would have put him one shot back was a crushing blow.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed the way I finished with three bogeys on the last four holes," Campbell said. "Being six shots behind the leader is pretty tough. I've been watching this the last 14 years on TV. It's nice to be part of it now, a part of history. Vij obviously had a bad day as well."