Tiger Woods one back as Corey Conners keeps Valspar Championship lead

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That was good enough for a share of the early clubhouse lead but eventually two strokes behind Canadian rookie Conners, the overnight leader who fired a 69 for 136.

World No. 74 Brandt Snedeker fashioned a 4-under-par 33-34=67 in the third round of the Valspar Championship for a 54-hole tally of 8-under 205, good for a three-way T2, one shy of leader Corey Conners.

"I've played myself right there into contention so it should be a fun Sunday", Woods said.

On a cool, gray afternoon, on a course - the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Golf Resort - that he hadn't played in 22 years, in a tournament he had never before graced, Woods shot a 4-under 67 and whipped a teeming, half-delirious, half-incredulous crowd into a frenzy.

He subsequently missed the cut at Riviera in Los Angeles but enjoyed his most promising result since 2015 when he finished 12th at the Honda Classic in Florida two weeks ago. He is vying for his first victory since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the 80th of his career. Conners and Rose will tee off at 2 p.m.in Sunday's final group, 10 minutes after Snedeker and Woods.

"I didn't want to go there".

He will play with Woods again in the final round and knows what to expect.

"No one has ever had a lower lumbar fusion where I had it and come out here and played. I've played half of them with Sneds", Woods told NBC sports.

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One of the most impressive aspects of Woods' return has been his short game.

"I have a shot to win (Sunday)", Woods said after a round of five birdies and one bogey.

"I was kind of getting a little frustrated".

"Loud. Very, very loud", Woods said about the gallery.

"I keep getting a little bit better here and there, making these little subtle tweaks", said Woods, who was sidelined for all of 2016 before an abortive comeback bid previous year. Then he made his major mistake of the day, hitting over the green at the 13th, leaving him with a almost impossible chip that he left in a bunker.

"You can't ignore it, I guess", said the former Kent State All-American of the looming presence of Woods and the chaos that goes with it. I figure it will be similar tomorrow. 6 and 7 dropped him back to 7-under.

And in reality, golf is a much better sport when Woods is doing his thing. "It kind of feels like you're playing in a major championship in a normal round, which if anything should bring out better golf for me".

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