Tiger Woods at PGA Championship 2013: Round 3 Performance Grades at Oak Hill
Tiger Woods needed something of a miracle if he was going to claw his way back into the PGA Championship on moving day.
He did not get that miracle. Instead, on a day when he needed to go low, he had two early bogeys on the front nine and closed the round with a disappointing 73. Tiger is four-over par heading into the final round of the season's last major.
Tiger is facing a fifth straight year without a major championship. The PGA Championship will be his 18th straight major without a title.
Tiger came into the PGA Championship on a roll, as he won last week's Bridgestone Invitational by seven strokes. That momentum meant nothing as he has struggled in each round at Oak Hill. He has never broken par in seven PGA rounds at the Rochester, N.Y., country club, and the third round was his worst of the 2013 PGA Championship.
Tiger Woods has not distinguished himself with his work off the tee in the PGA Championship. After two ordinary performances in the first two rounds, it got worse for him on moving day.
Woods had only used his driver occasionally prior to the third round, but he teed off with it four times in the third round. He missed the fairway on all four of those drives.
Overall, Tiger made just five of 14 fairways after teeing off. That errant work off the tee is a big part of the reason why Woods is not going to contend in the PGA Championship.
One thing golf fans can expect from Tiger Woods is that he is going to be dead-on with his irons in nearly every tournament.
While his iron play has been better than his driving and his putting, it has not been up to Tiger's usual standards. He hit 11 of the 18 greens in regulation, and that's quite a bit below what Tiger has come to expect from himself.
It's not just the GIR stats that tell the story. When Tiger is on his game, he will regularly get the ball close, sometimes within six feet. Many of his iron shots came to rest 15 feet or more from the hole.
Putting is everything in a major championship, and nobody knows that better than Tiger Woods. When he has been at his best in recording 14 major championship wins, he has made his living by sinking putts.
Putts of all sorts. Short putts, medium-range putts, long-range putts and flat-out miracle putts. In the third round, Woods was not making any of the putts he needed to if he wanted to get back into contention.
He missed his birdie putts on all holes except the 11th, and he had four bogeys.
More often than not, Tiger's putts have been sliding by on the right side of the cup. His putting has been maddening throughout the PGA, because he has not missed a large majority of the putts by more than a few inches. However, when they don't go in, it doesn't matter that they were close misses.
Tiger Woods is almost always in command on the golf course, because he knows his surroundings and understands which shots he has to play at a particular moment.
He has so much experience and knowledge, that he is perhaps the best golfer on the tour at managing the particular golf course he is playing.
That has not been the case at Oak Hill. He looks confused when his tee shots go into the rough, when his iron shots go off line and when he misses his putts.
He appeared bollixed during the first two rounds, and he was even more out of his element in the third round.
Incredible. Five-time tour winner Tiger is now +17 in his last 5 weekend rounds at the majors this year, and all 5 rounds are over par.— Steve Elling (@EllingYelling) August 10, 2013
The 2013 season has been a brilliant one for Tiger Woods. He has five tournament wins to his credit, and that's a figure that no other pro can match.
That makes his troubles in the majors even more pronounced. Instead of getting a boost when he's going after the big trophies, he seems to have lost his confidence.
Yes, clearly Tiger is now flummoxed by the pressure at majors. That needs fixing, too @VivaAmaRisata If his body doesn't break down or mind?— Alan Shipnuck (@AlanShipnuck) August 10, 2013
Normally, Tiger will bide his time and then attack when he has the opportunity. In the majors, and especially in the third round of the PGA, Tiger looks as though he knows disaster is about to strike.
His confidence and mental edge appear to have vanished.
It has been nothing but full-fledged disappointment for Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship.
In the past, he would play fairly well in the first two rounds of the majors but struggle on the weekend rounds. He was not good in either of the first two rounds at Oak Hill, and he could not reverse his form in the third round.
The pressure will be off in the final round, because Tiger is out of contention. He did not play well in the third round in any aspect of the game, and it will be interesting to see if he can regain any traction on Sunday.