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Tiger One Back in Disney Classic

October 20, 1996

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) _ Tiger Woods brushed off his messy finish Saturday with the same ease that has carried him to the top of the leaderboards in his last five starts on the PGA Tour.

``No big deal. I’m still only one shot back,″ Woods said of a missed 2-foot par putt that dropped him out of the lead in the Disney Classic.

The three-time U.S. Amateur champion, chasing a spot in next week’s Tour Championship, had an eagle and two birdies along with the closing bogey for a 3-under-par 69 on the Magnolia course, the site of Sunday’s final round.

Woods has finished in the top five in his last four starts to climb to 34th on the money list with $518,794. The top 30 qualify for the season-ending event at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla.

Lee Janzen, playing in Japan this week, is 30th at $540,916, followed by Woody Austin ($539,397), David Ogrin ($533,457) and Bob Tway ($525,688). Ogrin and Bob Tway are five shots behind Woods, while Austin missed the cut.

``I’ve just got to go out and shoot in the low or mid 60s to win,″ said Woods, who had a 9-under 63 on Friday at the Lake Buena Vista course. ``Today I hit the ball great, I just didn’t make the putts.″

Jay Haas, Rick Fehr, Lennie Clements and Taylor Smith topped the leaderboard at 16-under 200, followed by Woods, Payne Stewart, Ronnie Black, Mike Sullivan and Joel Edwards at 201.

``He deserves all the attention. He’s been the best player on our tour for the last month,″ Haas said of Woods. ``I was thinking this morning if I can stay one shot in front of Tiger, that might be the number to shoot.″

Haas did just that, shooting a 4-under 68 on the Palm course.

``I didn’t think 16-under would be leading,″ Haas said. ``After the scores from the first couple of days, I thought somebody would break out. I’m fortunate someone didn’t. I was 1-under through 12 and spinning my wheels, then all of a sudden made a couple of birdies.″

Smith shot a 64 at Lake Buena Vista, ranked the easiest of the 55 courses used by the PGA Tour last year. Clements had a 66 at Magnolia, and Fehr shot a 70 at the Palm. Stewart shot 70, Black 69, Sullivan 66 and Edwards 64.

Clements put himself in position for his first victory in 16 years on the tour with a six-birdie, no-bogey round that began with two straight birdies.

``Out on the range in the morning, it was cool and windy, so I knew the key would be getting off to a good start, and that’s what I did,″ Clements said. ``At 2-under after two holes, you just want to hit fairways and green and sneak a few more birdies in.″

He is playing the tournament for the first time in six years.

``The only reason I’m even here is for my kids,″ Clements said. ``After Las Vegas, I thought about calling it a year. But then I started thinking about it. The kids are getting older. I hadn’t been here in six years. So here I am. And the kids are having a great time.″

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