Anytime Tiger Woods is in the mix, the focus will be predominantly on him, as it largely was on Saturday at the Honda Classic. But the rest of the field at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., provided its own excitement on moving day, notably Luke List, who birded his final hole of the day for a four-under 66, giving him a one-shot lead over Justin Thomas and Webb Simpson at seven-under 203.
List's front nine was as stress-free as it gets, the Vanderbilt alum hitting six out of nine fairways and seven out of nine greens en route to a three-under 32. After making six straight pars, List finished birdie-bogey-birdie to grab the lead and post a second consecutive 66. The 33-year-old heads into the final round looking for his first career PGA Tour victory, something he's had chances at this season, having tied for fifth at the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges last fall and tying for 12th at the Farmers Insurance Open last month.
One of Saturday's top rounds belonged to Thomas, who fired a five-under 65 that included a back-nine 31 with birdies at both of the Bear Trap's difficult par 3s, 15 and 17. He's at six-under 204, in search of his second win of the season and the eighth of his career. Surprisingly, if he does get it done, it'll be Thomas' first win in the state of Florida, where he now resides.
"The Honda Classic is an unbelievable tournament, always has a great field and it has a pretty solid list of winners," Thomas said. "To be able to join that would be great, but I have 18 holes left, a lot of great players to try and beat, but I'm in a great position."
Thomas is joined by Simpson, who shot a bogey-free four-under 66 to give himself a chance to win for the first time since October 2013. Like Thomas, he knows there's work to be done.
"Of course I want to win really badly," said Simpson, who can capture his fifth career victory on Sunday, "But I got a warm-up to do in the morning, got range balls to hit. I've got to take it one step at a time."
Tommy Fleetwood (67) and Jamie Lovemark (68) are tied for fourth at five-under 205.
Matching Thomas' round of 65 was Alex Noren, who produced one of the highlights of the day at the par-5 18th, hitting his 270-yard approach shot to four feet and holing the eagle. He's in solo sixth at four-under 206, two off the lead. One behind Noren at three-under 207 is Kelly Kraft thanks to a four-under 66.
Seven back of List's lead at even par 210 is Woods, who carded his first sub-70 round in more than 900 days on the PGA Tour, a one-under 69 that featured three birdies and two bogeys. In order to challenge, he'll likely need a similar round to the one he shot in the final round of the Honda in 2012, when he posted a 62 to tie for second.
"You never know what can happen the last few holes here, a lot of things can happen and have happened in the past," Woods said. "If I can go ahead and post a number early, kind of reminiscent of what I did with Rory (in 2012), you never know."