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Golf: Third round begins at Augusta with Tiger lurking

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By The Staff

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Finding himself in a familiar position heading to the weekend at Augusta National, Tiger Woods flashed a smile that oozed with confidence.

The kind of smile that harkens back to the days of Jack Nicklaus and what they used to say about him:

He knows he's going to beat you — and he knows that you know he's going to beat you.

Back in his element after a humiliating sex scandal, Woods headed to Saturday's third round of the Masters in the next-to-last group, which means his return to the game from a five-month layoff is going better than anyone could have expected.

Anyone, that is, except Woods.

He came to this historic green patch of east Georgia with only one thing on his mind: a fifth green jacket. If this continues for another 36 holes, he might very well be wearing one.

Woods followed a 4-under 68 in the opening round with a rock-solid 70 in tougher conditions Friday, leaving him a mere two strokes behind a pair of Englishmen who share the lead, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.

The third round began on another sunny, warm day with the field whittled down to 48 players. Defending champion Angel Cabrera, who needed a clutch putt at No. 18 Friday just to make the cut, teed off in the first group with Robert Allenby.

But things will really pick up in the afternoon.


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