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Bo Van Pelt misses chance at a rare 59 at CIMB

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Bo Van Pelt missed a chance at a rare 59 on Saturday when he had double-bogey on the 18th at the CIMB Classic, an unofficial PGA Tour event.

Defending champion Van Pelt had four birdies in the first six holes, then five in a row from the eighth. After turning in 29 on the par-71 Mines Resort and Golf Club course, he had five birdies on the back nine and only needed one more birdie to join an elite club. But he hit his approach into the greenside bunker and needed three putts, finishing with a 9-under 62 for a share of the third-round lead with Robert Garrigus at 16-under.

Garrigus, who led by two strokes coming into the weekend, had 69 on Saturday for a total of 197, while fellow American Chris Kirk carded a 63 to move to 15-under, one clear of Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge and South Africa's Jbe Kruger.

Tiger Woods started aggressively with five birdies in the first eight holes but had three bogeys and a double-bogey on the back nine and finished at 69 to be in a group of five players tied at 11-under.

Only five players have shot 59 in official PGA Tour events — the latest being Stuart Appleby at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic, although it wouldn't have counted on Van Pelt's official statistics anyway because the CIMB Classic, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, doesn't become a full-fledged PGA Tour event until next year.

The 37-year-old American said his chance for a 59 vanished in the bunker.

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa has the lowest round on a major tour, shooting a 12-under 58 to win the 2010 Crowns in the Japan Tour. Tommy Gainey missed a putt for a 59 at the McGladrey Classic and finished with a 60 in the last round to win the title last weekend, when Van Pelt was in Australia where he won the Perth International.

Woods knows he's going to need a score like that to have any chance of winning the US$6.1 million title at the Mines course where he won the individual and team World Cup titles in 1999 on his last visit to Malaysia.

Thousands of people followed Woods and 2010 champion Ben Crane around the course, with the whir of camera shutters forcing Woods to stop his backswing on the 4th hole and the crowd causing him to pause at other times.

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Bo Van Pelt, of the U.S., tees off at the first hole during the third round of the US$6.1 million CIMB Classic golf tournament at The Mines Resort and Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Oct. 27. (AFP)

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