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WEB-ONLY EXCLUSIVE
Tiger Woods: 'Yeah. I Heard I Was in a Slump'
Day three of Thailand's Johnnie Walker Classic golf tournament
By ROBERT HORN Bangkok

November 18, 2000
Web posted at 8:25 p.m. Hong Kong time, 7:25 a.m. EDT



ALSO
Tiger Woods Clinches Victory in Bangkok

The world's number one golfer remains just that after winning the Johnnie Walker Classic
Up Close and Personal with Tiger Woods: A meeting with the world's most famous golfer leaves over 200 fans starstruck
Will Thai Billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra Take Center Stage?
Mobile Phones Frustrate Razor Sharp Tiger Woods: Day two of Thailand's Johnnie Walker Classic golf tournament
Tiger Woods Gets Unwelcome Homecoming in Thailand: The world's number one golfer is chasing his 10th victory this year -- but is copping some flak

Can Michael Campbell become the first golfer to win the Johnnie Walker Classic two years in a row? The defending champ broke the course record with a 9-under-par 63 in Bangkok on Saturday. But to beat tournament leader Tiger Woods on Sunday, he says he'll probably have to break it again.

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Cricket Bombshell
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Woods shot his second consecutive 65 to go 18-under after three rounds and open up a three-shot lead over Campbell and Australian Rodney Pampling, both 15-under. Pampling is best known for leading last year's British Open after the first round and then failing to make the cut, the only time that's happened in the tournament's history.

After starting the day with a bogey, Campbell, of New Zealand, started putting together birdies with frightening frequency. "That was obviously a bad way to start," he said. I learned a lesson from that. Don't give up. It made me more focused, more determined." Campbell had ten birdies on the day, and narrowly missed a couple of others. His birdie putt on hole number 15, par-3 stopped an inch short of the cup.

Campbell said that before the round he was joking with playing partner Sergio Garcia of Spain that they would need to break the course record to get back into contention. "Now I'll probably need to break it again to beat Tiger," Campbell said. "It's going to be tough, but mentally I'm very confident." If he can tame Tiger on Sunday, Campbell would be the first golfer to win the Johnnie Walker Classic two years in a row.

Woods had another solid round Saturday, racking up 5 birdies and an eagle on the par-5, 545-yard seventh hole. As his 18-foot putt found the bottom of the cup, Woods let loose with one of his trademark uppercuts in exhilaration. He came close to another eagle on the par-4, 367-yard 13th hole when his lob-wedge approach found the upper tier of the green and rolled back just an inch past the hole. Woods bent over in disbelief and let out a laughing, plaintive, "come on." Later, he said, "I don't know how that didn't go in."

Pampling, who played in a threesome with Woods on Saturday, said "to keep in contention you pretty much have to go blow for blow with him. If he gets too far ahead it's impossible. Three behind is not out of it by any stretch of the imagination." Pampling finished second on the ANZ Tour Order of Merit in both 1998 and 1999, but has had a difficult year playing in the United States and trying to make the PGA Tour.

Australian Geoff Ogilvy shot a five-under-par 67 to take sole possession of fourth place, four strokes back of Woods, while former British Open champion Paul Lawrie and Australian Wayne Smith were tied at 13-under, five strokes back.

Woods said that going into the final day with a three-shot lead "is a nice position to be in." The world No. 1 has already won nine tournaments and more than $9 million in prize money this year. Asked if it felt good to be out in front going into the final day -- having failed to win the last two tournaments he contested, Woods said: "Yeah. I heard I was in a slump."

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