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Woods in position for title push


Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods was ideally placed to put down a huge marker for the season after charging into a share of the lead with a day to go at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Having ended 2011 with his first victory for over two years, Woods has a great chance to start 2012 with another.

Thanks to a superb bogey-free display, the 14-major winner is on 11 under par and tied with England's Robert Rock, who ensured it was not all about the American when he birdied the final two holes for a matching 66.

They are two in front of four Ryder Cup players - Scot Paul Lawrie, Swede Peter Hanson, Italian Francesco Molinari and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy, the 22-year-old US Open champion, would of course be sharing top spot if he had not incurred his two-stroke penalty for brushing sand away off the ninth green in his second round, but a 68 kept him firmly in the hunt.

Woods joked that "it will be nice to get rid of him" after playing with McIlroy three days in a row - and also for nine holes of practice.

He added on Sky Sports: "I was just kind of consistent. I didn't do a whole lot wrong, I didn't do a whole lot right.

"Six birdies piled up, but I was methodically going about my business and grinding.

"This course is playing difficult enough. You can make birdies, but you can go the wrong way quickly. I've still got to post a good number."

There were an amazing 24 changes at the top of the leaderboard during the day and at one point eight players were locked together.