After two promising days to start the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship, Tiger Woods struggled on Day 3 to fall out of contention.
The superstar entered the day seven strokes under par, which was only six strokes behind leader Sergio Garcia. A strong round could have seen him move at least within striking range of the top of the leaderboard. Unfortunately, Woods was inconsistent off the tee and on the greens to finish with a score of 72.
On a day when everyone else was posting low scores, this round puts Tiger significantly behind the leaders with only one round to play.
Here is a full look at his third-round performance:
Storm Delays Play
A few players were able to get onto the course early in the day on Sunday, but the PGA Tour decided to erase the scores and restart everyone later:
This pushed Woods' start time back and made his pairing a three-man group with Hunter Mahan and Kevin Stadler:
Storm is pushing back tee times @ the DBC. Tiger was scheduled to tee off @ 11:45, but play has been suspended for about an hour & a half.— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 1, 2013
According to the Tiger Woods tracker Twitter account, playing with Mahan led to a more relaxed environment:
Different day. Lot of talking and laughing today between Tiger and playing partners. #Hunter— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 1, 2013
It was certainly a different story compared to his grouping with Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott in the previous two rounds. Still, Tiger was finally able to get underway shortly before 1 p.m. ET.
Good Start to the Day
After a par on the first hole, Woods attacked the par-five No. 2 hole and reached the green in two strokes. From 22 feet away, he came up short on his eagle putt, settling for birdie:
This put him at eight strokes under par for the tournament with reason to believe this strong play would continue. Around the time of this early birdie, Ron Sirak of Golf Digest posted:
If early returns are any indication, the birdies are going to come in bunches today at @DBChampionship— Ron Sirak (@ronsirak) September 1, 2013
Unfortunately, the low scores did not come easy from there on out, as he did not record another birdie until hole No. 13. He had a few good birdie opportunities on the front nine, but he only managed pars and one bogey to finish with an even 36 at the turn.
Rough Stretch on Back Nine
After a relatively uneventful front nine, things went haywire on the back. These two tweets sum up what Tiger was doing off the tee on holes No. 10 and No. 11:
New nine, needs a rally here to get back in it. Sends a 3 wood into the crowd right of 10 though...not good.— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 1, 2013
Tee shot ends up in the hazard down the right...really not good. After drop puts third to back of green.— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 1, 2013
Woods bogeyed each of these holes as well as No. 12 to fall to three strokes over par for the day. Of course, it isn't as though he was playing a tough course at the time, as noted by Brian Wacker of PGATour.com:
Tiger Woods +2 so far today. Kevin Stadler, playing alongside him, -5. Didn't quite see that one coming. #pgatour— Brian Wacker (@pgatour_brianw) September 1, 2013
Still, the player continued to struggle while everyone around him was notching birdies throughout the course.
Strong Finish to Save Face
After three bogeys in a row, Woods finally ended the streak thanks to an impressive approach shot on No. 13:
This birdie got him to minus-five for the tournament, and then he got back to six strokes under par thanks to another birdie on the 16th hole.
Unfortunately, by this point the lead was too far away, with guys like Jason Dufner having incredible days:
Missed birdie putts on both Nos. 17 and 18 gave Woods a final score of 72, one stroke over par. This tied him for 42nd place when he entered the clubhouse.
There is one round remaining in the Deutsche Bank Championship, and Woods will be with everyone else in the field jockeying for position in the FedEx Cup standings.
Fortunately, the No. 1 player in the world has little to worry about after coming in on top of the standings.
The top 70 after this event reach the BMW Championship, and the top 30 after that are invited to the Tour Championship. There is virtually no way he can fall far enough in the rankings to miss either event.
As long as he stays ahead of Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson, Woods should remain No. 1 in the standings after this event and be in good shape going forward.
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