Golf-Woods stays three ahead after low scoring day

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ATLANTA, Sep 16 (Reuters) Tiger Woods maintained his three-shot lead at the Tour Championship after resisting a glut of low scoring on Saturday spearheaded by US Masters champion Zach Johnson with a dazzling 10-under-par 60.

Woods, hunting a seventh PGA Tour title this year and inaugural FedExCup honours, fired a seven-birdie 64 in the third round yesterdy at a sun-drenched East Lake Golf Club.

That left the world number one at 19-under 191, three ahead of fellow American Mark Calcavecchia who eagled the 15th on his way to a sparkling 63.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia birdied two of the last four holes for a 64 to finish on 14 under, one ahead of Johnson in the fourth and final event of the FedExCup playoff series.

''If you made a bunch of pars you were going to get run over, so it was nice to make some birdies and maintain the same sized lead I had starting out the day,'' Woods told reporters after posting his lowest 54-hole total on the PGA Tour.

''I can't remember too many golf courses that have been easier than this one,'' he added, referring to East Lake's soft and receptive greens.

''I prefer not to play it like this. I prefer golf courses where you shoot something in the 60s you've earned it and you are going to move up the board.'' Although perfectly poised to claim the 10 million dollars bonus as the first FedExCup champion, Woods is more concerned with winning his 61st PGA Tour title.

''You know if you win golf tournaments, early 10 million dollars period, it takes care of everything else,'' said the 31-year-old American, who has triumphed 40 times out of 43 on the PGA Tour when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead.

''I'm in a position to get another 'W' (win). If I lose the tournament and win the FedExCup, I don't think I'm going to be too happy really.'' COURSE RECORD American Johnson, 10 strokes behind Woods overnight, eagled the 15th and rattled up eight birdies to break the course record by two shots.

''It was an amazing day and a lot of fun,'' a smiling Johnson said after falling one short of the lowest 18-hole score on the PGA Tour. ''A lot of factors went my way and I started to make more putts.

''The greens are really soft and, if you hit it on line and solid, it's going to go in.'' Woods, three ahead of the field overnight, briefly stretched his lead to five before losing ground with an outward nine of two-under 33.

However, he tightened his grip on the tournament with four birdies after the turn.

He rolled in a five-footer at the par-three 11th, struck his approach to two feet at the 14th and got up and down from a greenside bunker to birdie the 16th.

Woods, the FedExCup points leader, got to 19 under after another pinpoint approach set up a 10-footer at the 16th and he narrowly missed another birdie putt from seven feet at the par-three last.

Another player who took advantage of ideal scoring conditions was 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, who shot a 10-birdie 62 to climb into a tie for seventh at 10 under.

''I'm really happy with that,'' said Ogilvy, who had started the round 11 strokes off the pace. ''I wanted to shoot a decent score today and get back toward the right end of the field.

''I made a lot of birdies out there. I managed to make them from everywhere.'' Reuters SZ VP0510

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