Watch Tiger Woods electrify the gallery with a spectacular hole-out

He had no idea what was going to happen with his ball sitting near an oak tree at the par-4 16th.

Tiger Woods is relishing the opportunity to contend for PGA Tour titles again after moving within a shot of the lead during the third round of the Valspar Championship.

It also helped Woods finish at 1-under 70 and three shots back of first-round leader Corey Conners.

"I feel very excited going into tomorrow and I feel very good", said Woods.

The galleries swelled with each hole, and among the constant, predictable chatter and screams came an occasional cry of "I love you, Tiger", from the mouths of women, men and children alike. It is even more stunning that Conners is leading Woods, a 14-time major champion (but not since 2008) is even more stunning. It all started there for Woods, who clearly feels better than he has in years.

Woods' odds to win the Masters, as adjusted by Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, dropped twice on Friday on the strength of his performance, first from 16/1 to 12/1 and then to 10/1 - behind only world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and reigning PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas, both priced at 8/1.

Since then, Woods has played 16 rounds of competitive golf, including four in the Bahamas at the unofficial World Golf Challenge.

But Woods will be the main attraction on Sunday. "I needed a little bit more tournament time in and I've done that". Woods had scored better in every round until Saturday.

Canadian golf fans will hope for a different script on Sunday.

"Thanks for coming, Tiger".

"I was kind of getting a little frustrated". His only bogey came on the par-4 seventh.

He was top of the leaderboard after picking up four shots in his first 10 holes, including a holed chip from off the green on the ninth. That set up a long iron into the front right bunker and a delicate shot from the sand to about 5 feet for his fourth birdie of the round.

"I don't know if these people really understand how hard it was out there trying to pull a club, trying to figure out the wind direction, the gusts. It's a reward", he said.

When he made the birdie on 10, he was briefly in the lead.

"There's a lot of guys up there, so, you know, myself included". He tied for 23rd at Torrey Pines (seven shots out of the lead) and was 12th at the Honda Classic (eight shots behind the winner). "I'm going to have to do that again because I'm sure the crowd will be insane".

"I just froze there", Cousins told the Times. "He is Tiger Woods, so good play is never surprising". He dropped only one shot and finished with four straight pars in his round of 67.

"We've got a long way to go", Woods said. "I drove it well". There were so many good putts but none were better than at his 17th hole, where he stood over a 20ft effort to remain bogey-free.

  • Julie Sanders