PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- They swarmed as one, a massive amoeba sliding along the fairways and around the greens and tees, hungry for something meaty to wrap itself around.
For most of the front nine Saturday at the Honda Classic, Tiger Woods fed hope to his adoring legion of followers at PGA National, but not the excitement they craved.
Then it happened on the eighth green. Woods stepped up to a 6-foot putt and struck it true.
"Get in the hole!" they pleaded as one. "Get in the hole ... YEAH!!"
"Great putt, Tiger!"
It was his first birdie of the third round after a string of straight and steady pars, lifting him to even par for the tournament.
Sponsored Video Stories from LifeZette
There was plenty of drama playing out higher on the leaderboard, where a succession of contenders took brief bows on the top rung, but they had eyes only for him.
Understandable, considering the names -- Jamie Lovemark, Luke List, Webb Simpson -- brought to mind the bewilderment of Butch and Sundance about their pursuers: "Who are those guys?"
It wasn't until later, when reigning PGA Player of the Year Justin Thomas barged through the Bear Trap with birdies on the two toughest holes, 15 and 17, that there was a familiar force near the top.
List, with birdies on two of the last three holes sandwiched around a bogey, finished with a 66 and will take a 1-stroke lead at 7-under par into Sunday's final round.