Woods stays two ahead after testing day at Sherwood

Sat Dec 7, 2013 6:44pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

THOUSAND OAKS, California (Reuters) - Tiger Woods stayed on track for his sixth victory of the year as he maintained a two-shot lead after a tricky day for scoring at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge on Saturday.

The American world number one ground out a level-par 72 in strengthening winds at Sherwood Country Club to end the third round of the tournament which he hosts with an 11-under total of 205.

In glorious late afternoon sunshine after a damp start to the day, Woods rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-four last to retain control of an event he has won a record five times.

Compatriot Zach Johnson, the first-round leader, was alone in second place after carding a matching 72 with 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson a further two strokes back at seven under, after a 69.

Only four players in the elite field of 18 dipped under par for the day, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy the best of them with a six-birdie 68 that left him a distant 13 shots off the pace.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Gene Cherry)

Tiger Woods of the U.S. looks at his iPhone after using it to take a picture of playing partner Mark O'Meara on the 10th green, during a practice round for the 2010 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 6, 2010. REUTERS/Hans Deryk