In the lead again, Stricker tries to hold off Baddeley, Woods

Not too much bothered him Saturday, especially on the eighth hole, where Woods made birdie in the group ahead of him to take the outright lead for the first time all week.

"You've got roars, and then you've got Tiger roars, and then you've got the hometown crowd roar, and then you've got someone else's roar," Baddeley said, playing behind Stricker. "But you could tell Steve's roars out there today. When he holed his second shot on No. 8, you just knew that was a Steve Stricker roar out there."

Barring an amazing charge from behind, it appears to be a three-man race at the BMW Championship.

Woods will be playing with Justin Rose, who birdied his last two holes to salvage an otherwise ho-hum round of 69, leaving him five shots behind the leaders.

Jonathan Byrd, who was tied with Baddeley at the start of the third round, shot an even-par 71 and fell six shots behind.

"You make par out here you get run over," Woods said.

Stricker usually had to settle for par. He hit all 18 greens in regulation and has not missed a green since the 13th hole of the second round. Despite making five birdies and his eagle, he missed five birdie putts from inside 12 feet.

"I had real good opportunities," he said. "But at this point, you can't be greedy. Nobody makes them all. And when you do, you have one of those '60' rounds."

Woods felt like he was going to have one, also missing a number of good chances from short range. A three-time winner at Cog Hill, Woods spent most of the back nine atop the leaderboard, with impressive shots on the par 5s.

He wanted to go for the par-5 11th green with a 2-iron, hitting a draw that would bend left with the breeze. But he felt it shift to the right, so chose to hit a slice with his 3-wood that disappeared over the trees and settled onto the green.

The birdie on No. 15 was peculiar only until he reached the green.

Woods safely found the fairway with a 3-wood, then Camilo Villegas drive landed on Woods' ball and knocked it back. Under the rules, he had to drop it in the vicinity where it had been, and his drop bounced back about a foot into the front of a divot.

Needing to carry the bunker at 232 yards, Woods played a 3-iron back in his stance to about 35 feet for a two-putt birdie.

He finished with three straight pars, losing the lead only after he finished his round.

Asked he was disappointed not to play with Woods in the final round, Stricker smiled and said, "Probably not."

"It's tough to compete against a guy like that, and all you can do is just try your best," Stricker said. "I think what made me relax about the whole situation is I can't worry about him. I know he's going to do phenomenal things. I've just got to go out and do my things differently."

They go about it different ways, but it sure sounded the same Saturday.

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