Tiger in the hunt, Phil's out

CARLSBAD (California): World number one Tiger Woods continued his quest to win his first World Matchplay Championship with a comfortable third-round victory on Friday. 

Woods, who beat Australia’s Stephen Leaney seven and six, will next face 47-year-old Scott Hoch, who defeated Japan’s Toshi Izawa four and three. 

ANOTHER WIN:Tiger Woods is congratulated by Australia's Stephen Leaney after the world No.1 won the match 7 and 6 in the third round of the World Matchplay Championship at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad on Friday.- APpic

World number three Phil Mickelson, will not join Woods in the last eight after Jerry Kelly defeated him two up. 

Mickelson has never advanced past the third round in four attempts at the tournament. 

Woods, will be joined by Jay Haas, Australia’s Adam Scott and Peter Lonard, Britain’s Darren Clarke and David Toms. 

Woods had his best round of the championship with two eagles, two birdies and only one bogey over the 12 holes on Friday. 

“I took a huge layoff and it took me a little while to get back to the rhythm, but I feel like I’m back now,” said Woods, who won the Buick Invitational at nearby Torrey Pines two weeks ago. “I have a better sense of where the club is at.” 

Woods, who lost the 2000 final to Clarke, has had a layoff following surgery on his left knee and is playing in only his third tournament of the year. 

Mickelson never got his game on track on Friday and shot an aggregate two-over-par for 16 holes. “I just didn’t make enough birdies,” he said. 

Kelly, who won the Sony Open and the Western Open last year, said he had found it difficult finding motivation for his match with Mickelson until he read an article in Sports Illustrated on Thursday, in which he was voted one of the over-rated players on tour. 

“So that was all the motivation I need right there,” Kelly said. “It wasn’t SI that called me over-rated, by the way, it was voted by the players, which gave me even more motivation.” 

Kelly will meet 2001 PGA Champion David Toms yesterday, while Clarke will take on Lonard. – Reuters 

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