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Tiger just seven holes from matching Snead’s record

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Who could forget the image of Jordan Spieth way right, deep into the dunes, faced with an unplayable lie, his procession towards a first Open Championship in serious jeopardy

Tiger Woods is now just seven holes away from sensationally equalling Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour victories.

When poor light halted play at the ZoZo Championship Woods had moved to 18-under par through 11 holes of his fourth round on the Accordia Golf Narashino course at Chido in Japan.

Woods posted scores of 64, 64 and a third round 66 to move to 16-under par and was two-under par for his fourth round when play was halted thanks to three birdies and just one bogey.

Next best is Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama who moved to 15-under par through 12 final round holes.

One of the biggest movers over the rain of the weather-affected event was World No. 2 Rory McIlroy who superbly eagled his 18th hole to end round three with a blistering seven under par 63 that saw the Northern Irishman go straight into round four at 10-under par, sharing seventh place.

Thirty of the 76 players managed to complete their fourth rounds with Open Champion, Shane Lowry the clubhouse leader in signing off for a best-of-the-week 65 for an eight-under par tally.

It was a marathon day for the entire field, more than 10 hours and at least 29 holes before the very late afternoon suspension of play.

Though the only story now heading into Monday is Woods, even though the week has certainly been a stern test for a 43-year-old in his first event since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

The 15-time Major winner moved to 81 PGA Tour victories in capturing the Masters earlier this year and now after yet another lengthy break from the game due to further surgery he is on the verge of remarkably achieving what many would have thought was the ‘unachievable’.

Snead captured his first PGA Tour win in 1936 with victory in the West Virginia Closed Pro and then captured his 82rd Tour title 29-years later with an incredible eighth victory at the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open.

Woods won for a first time on the PGA Tour at the October 1996 Las Vegas International and then won an 81st in April this year with his fifth Augusta National success.

“I played alright,” said  Woods. “I made a few mistakes here and there. Pretty pleased with most of the day and I made birdies when I had opportunities.”

Asked if he would allow himself to think of matching Snead’s record, Woods did not bat an eyelid: “I’m trying to win, no doubt about that,” he said.

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