Tiger Woods has had an affinity for the Saturday charge throughout his career, but he's been particularly impressive in his third rounds this season, ranking sixth on tour with a 68.57 third-round scoring average. His latest moving day did not get off to a flying start, as the putter continued to fail him early in his round on Saturday at the Memorial Tournament.
After missing the first green in regulation and finding himself in the back bunker, Woods was able to get up and down for par to stay at five under for the tournament. Then, at the par-4 second, Woods picked up right where he left off on Friday, hitting a beauty from 166 yards out in the fairway to 10 feet:
Unfortunately, he couldn't convert, missing his sixth putt inside 12 feet in just 20 holes:
At the third, Woods stuck one inside 10 feet again, this time from 142 yards out in the middle of the fairway:
Three fairways and two greens in regulation, both resulting in less than 10 feet for birdie, signaled Woods was dialed in, but he missed that short birdie putt too. To think where he could have been on the leader board if he got these first two to fall and a few more late in his round on Friday.
At the par-3 fourth, Woods' tee shot came to rest about 15 feet from the cup, and, yes, you guessed it, he missed, this time badly. But he saved the par from three feet. Finally, at the par-5 fifth, Woods ensured that he'd secure at least a birdie with a fantastic second shot from 237 yards that rolled 13 feet past the pin. But wait, this guy still can putt!
His second eagle on a par 5 this week got him to seven under for the tournament, and it completely flipped the momentum in his favor as he made another clinical birdie at the par-4 sixth:
He followed that with another birdie at the seventh, moving him to four under on the day, nine under overall. After his tee shot landed 13 feet from the hole at the par-3 eighth, it looked like the place might explode, but he just missed a birdie try. No big deal though, as he redeemed himself by picking apart the par-4 ninth, finally hitting his first good tee shot there this week and taking advantage:
Woods hit all seven fairways, eight of nine greens and needed 14 putts for a bogey-free five-under 31 on his front nine. That vaulted him up the leader board to 10 under, one shot back of Joaquin Niemann and Kyle Stanley, who are about to tee off as Woods continues to make his charge. Barring a back-nine collapse, Sunday at the Memorial Tournament is setting up to be some incredible theater with Woods firmly in the mix.