Maggert takes lead, Tiger makes charge

By GUY L. AUSTIN
Executive Editor
austin@starhq.com

   AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Jeff Maggert made a surprising move to the top of the Masters leaderboard, and what a difference a few hours can make for Tiger Woods.
   Sinking five birdies after a double-bogey on No. 11, Maggert finished the third round with a 6-under 66 and a two-stroke edge over Mike Weir, the leader at the end of the second round, on Saturday.
   "This is a position you dream about," said Maggert, leading a major championship for the first time after 54 holes.
   Woods, who barely made the cut when he wrapped up his second round of play Saturday morning, started the third round 11 shots behind Weir. By the end of the day, though, he was back in contention for a record third straight Masters crown.
   A third-round 66 (bogey-free) left Woods just four shots off the pace -- tying him for fifth place -- and looking to make the greatest comeback in Masters history.
   "If you get it going here, you can post a good, solid round," said Woods.
   Today's final round will see Woods complete a miracle, Maggert holds the fort, or something entirely different.
   History is working against Maggert, who has won just one of nine events he was leading at the start of the final round.
   "Tiger's going to do so many great things in his career," Maggert said. "And if he doesn't win a third one this week, he's definitely focused to win a few more green jackets. There's nobody out there that I can control tomorrow except for myself. And I need to play well and hit good golf shots. If I do that, I'll have an excellent chance."
   Weir, armed with a six-stroke lead at one point, struggled to a 39 on the back for a 3-over 75 and was at 213.
   Vijay Singh, the Masters champion three years ago, and David Toms each had 70 and were another shot off the lead.
   Tied with Woods at 1-under 215 is Phil Mickelson, who made crucial par putts on the last three holes.
   Woods trailed 42 players at the start of the third round, but never showed a lack of resolve.
   "If I can be even par or under par, I'll be right where I need to be," he said after walking off the ninth green.
   Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal eased into contention with a 71, and also was at 1-under 215.
   Len Mattiace (69), Jim Furyk (71) and Jonathan Byrd (71) were at 216.
   While Augusta National was heating up on Saturday, the demonstrations down Washington Road were hardly at a fevered pitch.
   The Martha Burk-led National Council of Women's Organization's protest of the all-male membership policy at Augusta National mustered about 40 protesters, who were outnumbered by police and media.
   "You've got to make a choice -- is it discrimination or is it dollars," Burk said, threatening to boycott companies whose executives belong to the club. "Today we are protesters with placards. Tomorrow, women will protest with their pocketbooks."