LA JOLLA, Calif. — Tiger Woods again has assumed a role that he has become increasingly familiar in recent years, that of a non-factor.
Going off early on another sunny day at Torrey Pines, Woods shot a ho-hum one-under-par 71 on the South Course on Saturday and finished the day tied for 46th, too far behind leader Justin Rose to even threaten the lead in the Farmers Insurance Open.
“I finally drove it good and didn’t hit my irons very close,” he said, “and again had a bunch of close calls on putts that just didn’t go in.”
His goal on Sunday no longer is victory, but, “you know, just something positive,” he said. “I think if I can get to double digits [under par] would be nice, just a nice way to end the week.
“I’ve got to play a little bit better than I have, and if I can drive it like I did today and hit my irons a little bit better and give myself plenty of looks. It’s frustrating because I’m hitting a lot of good putts and they’re just not going in.”
Woods at least finished strong, with birdies on three of his last five holes, including his final two to post his third consecutive under-par round, but also his third straight without breaking 70.
He is five under par through 54 holes, so he’ll need a score of 67 to get to double-digits under par.
“It’s not too much to ask if I play well,” he said. “If I drive it like this, hit my irons a little more crisp and make a few putts, I should be able to do that.
“I don’t feel that bad over the shots. It’s just that through impact it’s not as clean as I’d like.”
Whatever he might find on Sunday might be lost by the time he plays again. He's taking the next two weeks off before playing the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, where he has never won.