Tiger Woods closes in on first win since 2013 at Valspar Championship

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Conners shot a 3-under 68 in Saturday's third round and is 9-under for the tournament, with a one-shot lead over Woods, Justin Rose and Brandt Snedeker, all of whom are 8-under.

Former world number one Woods, playing his fourth US PGA Tour event since returning in January from spinal fusion surgery last April, fired a three-under par 68 for a four-under total of 138.

"Loud as I've heard it in a long time", Snedeker said. "I've been in this position many times".

"It feels like it's back to "12 or "13", said Joe LaCava, Woods" caddie since 2011". I'm excited to play.

Indeed. Conners, who finished six strokes out of Monday qualifying but got in the field anyway as the third alternate when Kyle Stanley withdrew from the event, has led after every round this week at the Valspar.

Tiger Woods has made millions of dollars playing golf, so why was he rummaging through a woman's handbag during Friday's second round of the Valspar Championship??

The 42-year-old finished tied for 23rd at Torrey Pines, then missed the cut at Riviera in Los Angeles before a 12th-placed finish at the Honda Classic two weeks ago. "I know it's packed up there, but at least I got a shot".

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Woods looked as though he might seize control after his birdie on No. 10 to reach 8 under, tied for the lead.

"I tried to get relaxed as early as possible and fortunately got off to a good start and kind of settled me down nicely", Conners said. "My disc was still intact so we're trying to save the disc and I just never know with the future".

"I am excited", he said. Then he made his major mistake of the day, hitting over the green at the 13th, leaving him with a almost impossible chip that he left in a bunker. Conners and Rose will tee off at 2 p.m.in Sunday's final group, 10 minutes after Snedeker and Woods.

Woods' third round scorecard shows five birdies and just the one bogey, and starting his round with a wayward drive left into the tree line but managing to scramble his way to par ahead of bringing a record crowd to their feet in holing a 20-footer for birdie at the par-4 third hole.

Woods made a decision to play at the Valspar for the first time right before the entry deadline.

Woods said on Saturday, however, that he had not been prepared to risk it until he basically had no other choice if he wanted to have a chance of living pain-free and playing competitive golf again.