Friday’s second round offered tantalising glimpses of what Tiger Woods was once capable of, but Saturday’s third round failed to yield the redemptive moment the world of golf anticipated, if not quite hoped for. Again, as has happened on so many occasions since his sudden fall from the summit of the game, he failed to build momentum and, as the day wore on, found himself losing touch with the leaders.
If all the pieces of of the puzzle seemed to be slotting neatly into place yesterday, every facet of his game strong, Tiger’s putting was very clearly the weak link today. A missed putt on seven lead to some strong language and a three-putt par on fifteen– after one of the shots of the week, a slinging hook with a long-iron, found the front of the green in two– clearly unsettled the former World Number One, whose deameanour and ball-striking deteriorated thereafter.
A wonderful par-save on the seventeenth from beneath the Eisenhower Tree could offer little comfort, followed as it was by a poor bogey at the last, with yet another short putt failing to find the bottom of the cup.
Woods’ frustration was apparent post-round:
“Q: Does the putting wear on the other shots, like were you thinking about it on the tee shots?
TIGER WOODS: Well I was hitting beautiful putts. It is what it is.”
His two-over 74 leaves him on five-under, seven shots out of the lead and tied with a host of other players, including Bubba Watson, Ross Fisher, Fred Couples and Geoff Ogilvy.