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Superb 63 puts McIlroy in top five as Tiger pushes for a Monday victory in Japan

Shane Lowry holds the clubhouse lead of the 30 men who have completed all four rounds.

Sunday attire: Woods at the Zozo Championship this morning.
Sunday attire: Woods at the Zozo Championship this morning.
Image: Lee Jin-man

TIGER WOODS LED Hideki Matsuyama by three strokes with seven holes to play to stand on the verge of golfing history when the final round of the weather-delayed Zozo Championship in Japan was suspended due to bad light.

Woods is closing in on a record-equalling 82nd PGA Tour victory after a third-round 66 and moved to 18-under par at the weather-delayed Zozo Championship while Rory McIlroy leapt into the top five after a 63.

Now sitting on -11, McIlroy had a horrible two-over 72 on Thursday, but followed up his Saturday 65 with a superb 63, equalling the low round of the week, containing six birdies and an eagle at the 18th.

japan-golf-zozo-championship McIlroy watches a drive from the 3rd. Source: Lee Jin-man

Meanwhile, Shane Lowry was among the 30 players to complete a fourth round on a hectic condensed weekend schedule. The Offaly man holds the clubhouse lead thanks to a final-round 65 that left him with a closing score of -8.

Should Woods win, he will tie Sam Snead’s all-time record of 82 PGA Tour victories.

He started sloppily with a three-putt at the first but quickly regained momentum with a pinpoint eight-iron to six feet at the short third.

With the sellout crowds allowed back in after almost 10 inches of rain fell on the course during Friday’s suspension of play, Japan’s number one Matsuyama was giving them plenty to cheer.

Matsuyama started four behind Woods but a birdie on the last in a second 65 of the week took him into second on his own, three behind the leader.

Woods, whose 64 on Thursday was his lowest season-opening round of his long career, was holding a 36-hole lead on his own for the first time since the 2013 WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.

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The 15-time major champion had won on 38 of the 49 previous occasions he held the lead going into the third round and showed no signs of wanting to relinquish it.

When Woods knocked his sixth birdie of the round at the 13th he was five clear but he dropped a second shot at the par-five 14th when he failed to get up and down.

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AFP

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