Montgomerie leads Deutsche after three rounds, edges Woods

Posted: Monday, May 20, 2002

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Tiger Woods shot an 8-under-par 64 Sunday to move within one stroke of leader Colin Montgomerie after three rounds of the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open.

Montgomerie shot a 7-under 65 for a 17-under 199 total. Woods is at 16-under 200, and Justin Rose is in third place at 202 after a 66.

Woods opened with an eagle and birdied three of the next four holes to move into the lead before Montgomerie, playing four groups behind, reclaimed the top spot.

Woods said he played one of his best rounds.

''It's been a while since I hit the ball like that,'' Woods said. ''I haven't really been able to shape each and every shot but today was one of those days.''

Woods hit a 3-iron to 12 feet and made the putt for eagle at No. 1. He rolled in an 18-inch birdie putt at No. 2, made a 7-foot putt at No. 3, and sank a 5-foot putt for another birdie at the 5th.

Montgomerie, who is battling back problems, also started quickly, but failed to distance himself from the field.

After a par at No. 1, Montgomerie birdied the 2nd and made a 15-foot eagle putt at No. 3.

''I was 3-under after three and I'd been caught, which was unbelievable,'' he said.

Montgomerie sank a 35-footer for birdie at the 5th, made a three-putt bogey on the 6th, and rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at No. 7.

After a bogey at the 10th, he made four birdies on the back nine to move into the lead.

Montgomerie said he has been taking painkillers for back pain and also twice needed help from a physiotherapist during his round.

''I have a very weak back and I've got to protect it,'' he said. ''The best thing is to take time off but I can't. It's very sore and I need some flexibility.

''If I can't get that, I can play but I can't win, so I will need to get that flexibility to have a chance of playing and winning tomorrow.''

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