Tiger Woods took everything the US Open golf championship threw at him Saturday, and finished the day on the brink of another historic major triumph at Pebble Beach, California.
Woods' third-round 71 gave him an eight-under total of 205, and the largest 54-hole lead in the history of the championship: 10 strokes over South African Ernie Els.
The previous record was the seven-stroke lead held by James Barnes after three rounds in 1921, when Barnes went on to win.
Woods was one of only three golfers to match or break par in the third round, as gusting winds raked the Pebble Beach greens that Jack Nicklaus compared to pool tables.
Woods' pursuit of his first US Open title recalled his dominant performance in the 1997 Masters, when he led by nine strokes and won by a record-shattering 12 to claim the first major title of his career.
"I've played better this year than in '97," Woods said.
Colin Montgomerie, Europe's top money winner for seven straight years, carded a third-round 79. David Duval, ranked second in the world, shot a 74. Spanish wonder-kid Sergio Garcia posted an 80, and Zimbabwe's Nick Price had a 78.
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke, current leader of the European money list, was 10 over for the round and 14 for the tournament.
"We played the hardest holes, eight, nine, 10, in the wind. The wind cost me a shot at number three -- a few shots at number three."
Jesper Parnevik, one of the many who failed the US Open survival test, played with Woods for two rounds before missing the cut. What he saw made a believer out of the Swede.
"The only thing that can stop Tiger winning is Tiger," Parnevik said - (Several Sources)
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