Nick Faldo called it "Seve-like." Gary McCord dubbed him "Houdini." Regardless of how you describe what Tiger Woods did on the front nine on Sunday at the 100th PGA Championship, it was certainly memorable.
We've seen plenty of final-round charges from the 14-time major champ — including last month at Carnoustie — but none have ever looked quite like this. Woods shot a three-under 32 at Bellerive despite not hitting one fairway. That's right, not a single fairway.
Woods' struggles off the tee with the driver have been well-documented, but in addition to being 0-for-3 on the front-nine with that club, Tiger was a surprising 0-for-5(!) with that driving iron he's fallen in love with. Yet despite all those errant tee shots on par 4s and 5s, Woods' lone bogey came on the par-3 6th, and he managed to make four birdies to pull within a shot of the lead as he made the turn.
The final birdie was the most spectacular. After nearly pulling an iron off the tee out of bounds, Woods hooked a nine iron off a trampled down lie to about 15 feet. He then rolled in the birdie putt and unleashed one of his most furious fist pumps in a decade.
So how do you shoot three under par for nine holes without hitting a fairway? You hit only 10 putts. After lipping out for birdie from seven feet on No. 1, Woods one-putted his final eight holes of the front nine to get to 11 under.
He'll need to stay hot with the putter on the back nine if he's to end that major drought of more than a decade. Of course, it also might help if he hits a couple fairways.