SHANGHAI, China – Tiger Woods’ winning streak in stroke events is in trouble.

Woods bogeyed the last two holes Saturday to fall five shots behind leader Retief Goosen going into the final round of the HSBC Champions tournament.

Woods has won six consecutive stroke events on the PGA Tour, his last loss coming in a runner-up finish at the Western Open in July.

Starting the third round at 8 under after his record-tying 64 in the second, Woods shot a 73 in cold and blustery conditions Saturday to drop to 7-under 209.

Goosen made five birdies and two bogeys for 69, one of only 17 players to break par in the third round.

He had a one-shot cushion on Yang Yong-eun, a 34-year-old South Korean who carded a 67 for the best score of the day.

“Whenever you’re leading going into the final round, it’s great,” Goosen said.

“I’ve got somebody tomorrow that I have to watch out that I don’t know. Yang is obviously playing extremely well … Obviously Tiger is there, and we all know what he’s capable of.”

Woods has played down the significance of the win streak, saying his perfect run ended in September when he lost in the first round of the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, England.

And this is not a PGA Tour event. The HSBC Champions is the first tournament of the 2007 European Tour and is co-sanctioned by the Asian, Australasian, South African and Chinese tours.

Still, Woods is eager to improve on his runner-up finish here last year and return from his five-week sabbatical with a victory. He’ll need a round like he produced Friday to have any chance.

Goosen “is a tough man to catch,” Woods said. “He’s playing solid, but I’ve got to go out there and take care of my own business. We’ll see what happens.”

Yang, who has four victories on the Japan Tour, beat a field including Goosen for his first Asian Tour title at the Korea Open earlier this year.

India’s Joyti Randhawa, the leader after the first two rounds, had an even-par 72 and was third at 10 under. Scotland’s Marc Warren was one more stroke back, two ahead of Woods, England’s Paul Casey and Italian Francesco Molinari.

Woods made eight birdies and an eagle on Friday, after making his return from a five-week break on Thursday with a 72.

His round was mixed Saturday, with a double-bogey, three bogeys an eagle and two birdies.

“As good as it was yesterday, it was as bad as it was today,” Woods said. “I struggled, didn’t hit the ball well and didn’t putt well. The last two holes I put myself on my back – I will have to shoot a great round tomorrow and hope that’s enough.”

Ochoa shoots 63 to take 5-stroke lead

MOBILE, Ala. – Lorena Ochoa moved into position to wrap up the LPGA Tour player of the year race and win her sixth title of the year, shooting a 9-under 63 on Saturday to take a five-stroke lead in the LPGA Tournament of Champions.

The 24-year-old Mexican star, seeking her third straight victory, needs a victory Sunday to win the player of the year points race and become the first player other than Annika Sorenstam or Karrie Webb to secure the honor since 1996.

“This is a really big tournament for me because of that,” Ochoa said about clinching the award before facing Sorenstam and Webb next week in the season-ending ADT Championship. “I think it will be a lot easier to get that done, player of the year. This is a tough tournament, tough competition and the golf course is playing tough.

Daly-Holmes top Shootout leaderboard

NAPLES, Fla. – Long-hitters John Daly and J.B. Holmes shot a 10-under 62 on Saturday in the best-ball round to take a one-stroke lead over two teams in the Merrill Lynch Shootout.

Daly and Holmes, who opened with a 63 on Friday in the modified alternate shot round, had a 19-under 125 total on the Tiburon Golf Club course. The $2.75 million event will conclude Sunday with a scramble round.

Jerry Kelly and Rod Pampling matched Daly and Holmes with a 62 to join Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank (63) at 18 under.

Kuchar takes Nationwide lead

RICHMOND, Texas – PGA Tour winner Matt Kuchar took a three-stroke lead Saturday in the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship, holing a 30-foot eagle putt and a 40-foot birdie chip en route to a 5-under 67.

Already safe in the race for 2007 PGA Tour cards at No. 12 on the money list, the former Georgia Tech star started the day in a five-way tie for the lead.

Kuchar, the 2002 Honda Classic winner, distanced himself from the field with the eagle putt on the par-5 fifth hole and the chip shot on 17. He had a 13-under 209 total on The Houstonian course. Boo Weekley was second after a 68.

The field is fighting for 22 PGA Tour cards. The season money champion will be fully exempt on the 2007 PGA Tour and earn a spot in The Players Championship. The next 21 finishers on the final money list will be conditionally exempt on the PGA Tour and Nos. 23-37 will get byes to the final stage of Q-school.


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