CHASKA, Minn. — If Y.E. Yang's hot pink pants and theatrics didn't get Tiger Woods' attention Saturday at the PGA Championship, his ball-striking and shot-making sure did.
The 37-year-old South Korean shot the low round of the day at Hazeltine National, a 67 that brought him to 6-under 210 and earned him a date with the most famous athlete on the planet, and golf's most intimidating closer, in Sunday's final round.
"With Woods, he's won 70 times now, and I've won only once," Yang said through an interpreter. "So it's sort of 70-to-1 odds. So I might as well go for broke as well."
This is the first time in his career that Yang will play with Woods during a round, and a smile creased his face when he was asked about it.
"I'll try not to go over par," he said.
Yang started the day at 1 under, six strokes behind Woods, who practically had his name already engraved on the trophy. But Yang was bogey-free on the front nine, then overcame a bogey on No. 13 with birdies on 14, 15 and the signature 16th to creep into contention.
"Y.E. played just a great round of golf today," Woods said after shooting a 71 to take a two-stroke lead over Yang and Padraig Harrington. "Shot a 67 and got himself in the final pairing. ... It'll be a fun day tomorrow. Hopefully we can get it in."
They may not have played together before, but Yang and Woods have history.
Yang held off a charge from Woods and Retief Goosen to win the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai in 2007. The two-stroke victory over Woods made Yang just the second South Korean to win a European tour event, joining K.J. Choi.
"Yes he did," Woods recalled Saturday. "Y.E. played great."
But he did so without having to see that famed red shirt, and the huge galleries and media hordes that it draws, looming over his shoulder on every shot.
It will be an entirely new experience for him on Sunday. He will be under the world's microscope, and the target of a Tiger's glare.
"More than anything, it's just the amount of distractions inside the ropes," Woods said. "There's a lot of movement, a lot of cameras, a lot of media. There are a lot of people moving and it can get you at times."
Yang certainly didn't take the easy road to the sport's biggest stage.
He didn't even start swinging a golf club until a friend brought him to the driving range at age 19. Even when the bug hit him, he had to fulfill a military commitment, spending 18 months as a guard at the South Korean Naval port.
He turned professional in 1996 at age 24, but didn't qualify for the PGA Tour until 2007.
This season hasn't been a cake walk, either. After picking up his first career PGA Tour victory at the Honda Classic in March, Yang finished 74th at the CA Championship at Doral, then missed the cut at the Transitions Championship and the Masters.
Yang has been much better lately, with a fifth-place finish at the Buick Open and an eighth-place finish at the Canadian Open included in his last three outings.