Woods stalks Casey early in Valspar final round


Miami (AFP)

Tiger Woods, seeking to cement his return from injury with an 80th US PGA Tour title, was two strokes behind leader Paul Casey midway through the final round of the Valspar Championship on Sunday.

Woods, the 14-time major champion playing his fourth Tour event since spinal fusion surgery last April ended a brief comeback bid in 2017, is seeking his first title since 2013.

He started the day one stroke behind third-round leader Corey Conners.

He opened with a birdie on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, Florida, but gave that stroke back with a bogey at the fourth.

He gave himself a great opportunity for birdie at the par-three eighth, one of the toughest on the course, but his six-footer burned the lip and stayed out.

England's Casey, meanwhile, was surging, with four birdies and a bogey on the front nine and three birdies in a row at 11, 12 and 13 that moved him to 10-under for the tournament through 15 holes.

England's Justin Rose and American Patrick Reed were nine-under on the back nine.

Canadian rookie Conners, meanwhile, slipped back with two early bogeys.