BETHESDA, Md. -- Tiger Woods has entered the final round of a PGA Tour event trailing at least a share of the lead by a shot. Eight of those times, he has won that Sunday. Expect that pattern to hold true at the AT&T National.
Woods shot 4-under 67 on Saturday before a gallery of no more than 50 assembled volunteers, Congressional staffers, media and Tiger Woods Foundation employees to trail Brendon de Jonge by a shot entering Sunday play.
With just two players under par among the approximately 40 already on the course, a player making a big move from behind is unlikely. Combine the tough conditions with the largely unproven records of the nearest challengers and Woods seems a practical lock to win for a third time this season.
De Jonge, a Zimbabwean, has never won on the PGA Tour, finishing third thrice in 2010.
Tied with Woods at 6 under par are Bo Van Pelt, who has not won since taking the now-defunct Milwaukee stop in 2009, and Seung-yul Noh, who is coming into his own as a PGA Tour rookie. Hunter Mahan, twice a winner this year, is at 5 under with local favorite and Naval Academy product Billy Hurley III.
Jhonattan Vegas trails de Jonge by three and is probably the last player with a realistic chance to win.
Kicking Mahan to the curb at this writer's peril, the others have a combined two PGA Tour wins. Woods 73, others 2. Doesn't sound good.
If Woods wins today, he passes Jack Nicklaus for second alone on the all-time PGA Tour wins list.