Tiger Woods failed to make the charge he needed on Day 3 of the Tour Championship. He ended the third round at three over par after a one-under 69 on Saturday. He would now need a lot of help to finish atop the FedEx Cup standings.
And there it is. Two-putt par for a 1-under 69 today. Hey, it's progress. We'll take it.— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 21, 2013
Tiger's struggles started late in Friday's round. After fighting his way back into contention, his round fell apart over the final five holes, which included a triple bogey and a double bogey. He didn't rediscover the magical touch on Saturday.
Let's check out Woods' scorecard for Round 3, followed by a recap of a lackluster morning for the 14-time major champion at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Day 3 Scorecard
Woods' morning got started before the sun came up. He hit the range with hopes of finding the swing that allowed him to card five birdies in the first 13 holes Friday. He needed an even better start to make up the ground lost late in Round 2.
Morning. pic.twitter.com/JNGazFtc7g— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 21, 2013
Whatever he was working on didn't carry over to the course. He struggled to find the fairway off the tee, and when you're consistently missing the short grass at East Lake, it becomes very difficult to string any type of run together.
Woods was doing a nice job of scraping together pars on the front nine, but that wasn't good enough after starting the day 14 strokes back.
It also didn't help that the pin locations were on the tricky side, as you'd expect for the third round of the season's final event.
Woods' only notable moments of the front half came on the third hole. He found the bunker with his approach, but he played a perfect sand shot to give himself a chance to save par from within five feet. But as has often been the case over the past few weeks, he couldn't convert what's usually an automatic putt for him and dropped another stroke.
Not a filthy par putt. Lip out bogey. #5over— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 21, 2013
Every other hole on the front nine resulted in a par. With each passing one, the FedEx Cup kept slipping further out of Woods' grasp, especially as leader Henrik Stenson took to the course and continued his parade of birdies.
The stats reflected Tiger's mundane play:
Tiger turns @ 1 over for the day: 17 putts, 6/9 GIR, 0/7 fairways hit.— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 21, 2013
It was more of the same on the back nine. Even when he did find the fairway, mediocre approach shots left him with mid-range looks for a birdie at best.
After four straight pars to start the back, Woods seemingly got himself into trouble at No. 14 with a drive that went way left. From there, his next shot missed the green and forced him to hit his third from the greenside rough.
The result? His first birdie of the day.
Tiger won't go birdie-less again. He chipped in for first birdie of day at 14th... but trails Stenson by 17 strokes. #TourChamp— Bob Harig (@BobHarig) September 21, 2013
Tiger followed it up with another birdie at No. 15 to get him under par for the day. But he remained well off the remarkable pace being set by Henrik Stenson.
Another birdie for TW! Lead is back down to 16. So close I can smell it!! #3over— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) September 21, 2013
Woods wasn't able to build off that quick burst of success, however. His tee shot on the 16th was way right, and his approach at the 17th was off target. He was right back on the par train, where he spent a vast majority of the round.
After the round, Woods discussed his strategy and what he planned on doing come Sunday, courtesy of the PGA Tour's Twitter feed:
Tiger, with 18 to play: "Goal is to go out and shoot a low round tomorrow and see where the chips fall." Currently T26 (-1) #FedExCup— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 21, 2013
Tiger finished the round with a par at the last, leaving him 16 shots behind Stenson as he walked off the course. Not a terrible round by any means, but not what he needed either.