Tiger Woods completely imploded on Day 3 of the 2012 U.S. Open, posting the worst third round performance of his career when starting with the lead. He'll now have to rebound from those disastrous results in a big way to get back into contention for his fourth Open win.
"I didn't really have very many birdie putts," Woods said, per ESPN.com. "I was lag putting or having big-breaking putts. I didn't have very many good looks, and the ones you do get you have to bury those. It's frustrating."
To label his Saturday a disappointment would truly be a massive understatement. Only eight other golfers finished the round with a score worse than Woods' 75. His missed seven fairways in the round, matching his combined total from rounds 1 and 2.
13 of his competitors were able to break par while Tiger shot a 6:1 bogey-to-birdie ratio. His terrible round dropped him to 14th place, a shot back from amateur Beau Hossler. The 17-year-old is literally less than half of Woods' age yet managed to match course leader Jim Furyk with a 70 in Round 3, five shots ahead of Tiger.
"I don't think he looked that far off," Furyk said. "It's just stuff happens at the U.S. Open sometimes."
Now in a deep hole, Woods will have to post his best round of the tournament on Sunday if he has any chance of catching Furyk and the other leaders. Recovering from his current deficit will not be easy, but it's fair to say that term has been erased from the vocabulary of the 14-time major champion over the last few years.
If Woods can mount a successful comeback it will mark the first time he's won a major coming from behind.
"I'm just going to have to shoot a good round (Sunday), post a number and see what happens," Woods said. "There's a bunch of guys with a chance, but it all depends on what they do with the golf course."
If Woods wants a legitimate chance himself, he'll have to cut out the multitude of mistakes made in the previous round and play like the championship contender that he is.