Golf: Molinari grabs Masters lead with Tiger, Finau two back

Francesco Molinari of Italy looks over the 13th green during third round play.
Francesco Molinari of Italy looks over the 13th green during third round play. PHOTO: REUTERS
Finau looks up the 4th hole before hitting during third round play.
Finau looks up the 4th hole before hitting during third round play.PHOTO: REUTERS

AUGUSTA, United States (AFP) - Tiger Woods fired a five-under par 67 in Saturday’s  (April 13) third round of the Masters to grab a share of the late clubhouse lead, two strokes behind reigning British Open champion Francesco Molinari.

Woods, a 14-time major winner seeking his first major crown since the 2008 US Open, had six birdies against a lone bogey to roars of delight from the crown at Augusta National Golf Club.

Woods, a four-time Masters champion seeking his first green jacket since 2005, stood with fellow American Tony Finau on 11-under 205 after 54 holes at the year’s first major tournament.

Italy’s Molinari was on top, however, at 13-under thanks to four consecutive birdies starting on the par-3 12th hole.

World number 12 Woods has never won a major when he was not at least sharing the lead entering the final round.

But Woods took huge steps toward grabbing a fifth Masters green jacket with a stellar start, the 43-year-old American superstar answering a bogey at the fifth with birdies on the next three holes.

He followed with birdies at the par-5 13th and 15th and added his third in four holes at the par-3 16th.

Finau, chasing his first major title, fired a bogey-free eight-under 64.