Tiger in pole position to end victory drought at Tour Championship

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods will take a three-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and world No 1 Justin Rose into the final round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta as he seeks to end his five-year victory drought.

Woods carded a 5-under par 65 in the third round Saturday after making birdies on six of the first seven holes.

For all their achievements, 2013 US Open champion Rose and four-times major victor McIlroy know that beating Woods would be a career highlight.

He has never lost an official tournament when leading by more than two shots and has won 54 of the 57 PGA Tour events in which he has held the 54-hole lead.

For the handful of players who were around when Woods made a mysterious and maddening game seem simple, it was like old times, times that weren't necessarily good for anyone not named Tiger.

"We'll see what happens", McIlroy continued, "but it'll be exciting to be up there and have a chance to win the golf tournament". So raucous were the reactions to Woods's every move that they often left Rose addressing his ball to a decrescendo of leftover cheers that course workers worked to quell.

As for the $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup, that is now Rose's to win or lose. "But if I go out and I play similar tomorrow like I did today, I'll have no complaints", he said. 'I always feel like I'm behind everyone else because I play in Europe. Woods received the loudest roar from his gallery by holing a 24-foot birdie putt on the par-three 15th.

"I've won 14 majors so in order to get ahead I've got to stay patient".

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"All I can do is worry about myself", the Northern Irishman said. His advantage stretched to five before a loose tee shot at the par-three 9th triggered a bogey.

Rose, in his debut at No. 1 in the world, played in front of Woods and could hear all about it with an enormous gallery.

Can Tiger Woods win Fedex Cup with Tour Championship victory?

It was a slow bleed for Fowler, who went birdie-free over his last 12 holes and shot 39 on the back nine for a 72. "It's exciting for people to get a look at him back at his best and it will be fun to be play with him". "I was hitting it absolutely dead flush".

And so now the tournament heads to Sunday with a familiar focus, all eyes and hopes and narratives trained tightly on Woods and his crimson shirt.

The American Kyle Stanley and Spain's Jon Rahm were tied for fourth on six under with Paul Casey, Billy Horschel and Tony Finau a shot further back.

There used to be no chance against Woods when he was atop the leaderboard going into the final round.

"It's a little more unknown now", Rose said, when asked if it felt different to chase Woods on Sunday these days than in years past.

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