Tiger Woods played in front of likely the smallest `crowd' of his professional career as he closed to within a stroke of the lead in Saturday's third round of the AT&T National.
Woods had a 4-under 67 to share second placed with Bo Van Pelt (67) and Seung-Yul Noh (69). They were a stroke behind Brendon de Jonge, whose round of 69 had as many birdies (three) as people in his gallery on a strange, silent day at Congressional.
A violent wind storm overnight that toppled dozens of trees and littered the course with limbs forced tournament officials to keep spectators and all but the essential volunteers away from Congressional for the third round. Considering the amount of debris, it was amazing they even played.
''I've played in front of people like this,'' Woods said. ''But not generally for an 18-hole competitive round.''
De Jonge was steady in the sweltering conditions for a third straight round in the 60s, which gave his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.
The South African, going for his first PGA Tour win, made his final birdie on the 12th hole with a wedge out of the rough that climbed over a ridge and settled about 12 feet behind the cup. It was worthy of applause, but there was only one person in the gallery to see it - Kandi Mahan, the wife of Hunter Mahan.
Indeed, this was a day like few others on the PGA Tour.
A few volunteers, tournament staff and club members tagged along after Woods, and provided about the only noise of the round. They watched him and Van Pelt get off to a quick start, and then match pars on the back nine to get close to the lead.
''I told Tiger that was a Bo Van Pelt crowd, so I was used to that,'' Van Pelt said. ''I was very comfortable with 10 or 15 people watching me play golf. No, it was just nice to get it in.