The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Thomas Bjorn takes lead
- Woods in contention despite late bogeys

Sandwich, July 19 (Reuters): Tiger Woods dropped four shots on the back nine to lose his momentum just as he looked poised to take the British Open by the scruff of the neck in a sun-drenched third round on Saturday.

The world No.1 eagled the fourth and seventh holes to lead the tournament for the first time. But bogeys at the 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th meant a 69 that took him back to one over par for the tournament, two behind leader Thomas Bjorn who also shot a 69. Woods said: “I’m very pleased with the way I played today. You’re going to get some tough bounces out there and some of the bounces went my way today.”

Denmark’s Bjorn also eagled the fourth hole and birdied the ninth before nine straight pars on the back nine left him at one under, a shot clear of second-round leader Davis Love III, and two ahead of Woods, Fiji’s Vijai Singh, Spain’s Sergio Garcia, and Americans Ben Curtis and Kenny Perry. Bjorn, who finished runner-up to Woods in the 2000 Open and also parred every hole on the back nine in the second round, was left in pole position to claim his first major title.

Woods fired his first eagle of the tournament at the par-five fourth before a spectacular bunker shot at the seventh sent the ball unerringly into the hole from around 40 feet.

He celebrated in uncharacteristically flamboyant style, raising both hands in the air and looking up at the sky, but kept his concentration sufficiently to notch another birdie with a 20-foot putt at the ninth before his problems on the back nine left him at one-over 214.

The 27-year-old, seeking his second British Open win, had made a solid start with three straight pars, including one at the opening hole where he suffered a triple-bogey seven in the first round.

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