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“When you play with Gary, who hits it 40 yards farther than I do, it doesn’t look that hard,” Perez said. “Where he hits it is unbelievable. But it was a lot harder today.”

Twenty-two players were separated by four shots going into Sunday.

Everything was in place for a good show except for the tour’s two biggest stars. In the first network telecast of the year - and the first Sunday in golf without going against the NFL playoffs - Woods was out of the tournament and Phil Mickelson pulled out Friday night after making the cut because of muscle pain in his back.

Woodland has been heading north since winning the Reno-Tahoe Open last year. He contended at The Barclays, lost in a playoff in Malaysia and now feels confident about who’s in charge at San Diego. Yes, the South is a beast. But the Kansas native hits it a long way.

Then again, he made par on all of them, including a three-putt pars on the sixth and 18th holes. That was OK, for Woodland had nothing more than a wedge in on No. 1, and he collected a pair of birdies on the par 3s. His only lapse was a double bogey on No. 17 from a bad lie in the bunker and a three-putt.

“If I drive the ball in play, I’m playing a little different golf course than most guys are playing,” Woodland said.

Spieth, with a chance to move into the top 10 in the world with a win, hits the ball plenty far. He just wasn’t very straight. The Texan pulled his opening tee shot and struggled to find fairways the rest of the day. He hit only five of them.

The steady finish left him confident about collecting his second PGA Tour win.

“Only one shot back and a bunched leaderboard,” Spieth said. “It’s going to take a good score tomorrow. … I’m excited about tomorrow. I had some great saves down the stretch today, so take that momentum.”

Woods thought he had some momentum, coming off a birdie on the 17th hole and in the fairway on the par-5 18th with a shot at the green. He went into the water and made double bogey, then made another double bogey on the first hole with a three-putt. It was his first time with back-to-back double bogeys since the 2011 PGA Championship. And it only got worse from there.