Tough winds at Sherwood Country Club wreaked havoc in the third round of the Chevron World Challenge. The swirling and gusting conditions baffled 36-hole leader and tournament host Tiger Woods and nearly everyone else in the field. Zach Johnson was among the handful of players that minimized the damage. In fact, the 2008 Masters champ had a pretty special day, including a hole out from the 18th fairway for eagle to post a four-under 68 and take a one-shot lead.
That was Johnson’s second eagle on the back nine. On the par-5 11th, he chipped in for a three.
Meanwhile, Tiger struggled on the par-5s, posting bogeys on three of them. The AP’s Doug Ferguson reports:
Both players ran into trouble on the par-5 16th.
Johnson was playing in the group ahead of Woods, felt the breeze in his face and tried to hammer a driver that went left of the grass and into the gallery. He tried to clear a creek and went into the trees to the right before pitching out and taking a bogey.
Woods was in the fairway, but says a gust took his fairway metal too far right and into a hazard. He thought about trying to hit out behind a pair of rocks before choosing to take a penalty drop, and he also made bogey.
The difference was how they finished.
Johnson three-putted the 17th for another bogey, then drilled his 7-iron at the flag on the 18th for the most unlikely finish to his round. The eagle put him at 8-under 208.
Woods had to settle for pars.
Despite posting a one-over 73, he didn’t have many gripes with his game, considering the confusing wind patterns.
“It was tough out there,” said Tiger in his post-round presser. “The wind was very gusty and swirling all over the place. It was really tough to pull a club and hit a shot.
“So a good shot today sometimes wasn’t rewarded. Kuch (Matt Kuchar) had a beautiful 5‑iron into 8 that was cutting. Then the wind switched and threw it left of the green. It was just the most amazing shot. It was one of those days where the wind was up, down, changing directions quite a bit.”
Added Tiger: “I feel like even though I made three bogeys on par‑5s, I had two three‑putts, but I played well. I hit a lot of good shots that ended up in bad spots because I had bad gusts. So be it. That’s the way it goes. I’m right there with a chance going into tomorrow.”
(AP Photo/Jason Redmond)