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Tiger Woods in Contention with Strong 3rd Round at 2019 Hero World Challenge

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

NASSAU, BAHAMAS - DECEMBER 06: Tiger Woods of the United States hits is tee shot on the fourth hole during the third round of the Hero World Challenge on December 06, 2019 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tiger Woods put himself within striking distance of a win Friday at the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course in New Providence, Bahamas, as he fired a five-under 67 in the third round. 

Woods is in a tie for third place with a score of 11 under for the tournament, just two shots behind leader Gary Woodland.

Since struggling to an even-par 72 in the opening round, Woods has been red hot at the Hero World Challenge. He shot a six-under 66 in the second round and followed that up Friday with a round that included six birdies and just one bogey.

Woods was clearly locked in, as he missed just one fairway and excelled at hitting greens in regulation as well, per Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker:

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

Overall: 12/13 fairways hit; 14/18 GIR; 29 putts. Off to the scoring area and let's see what our man has to say.

Tiger's accuracy off the tee and on his approach shots led to a fairly easy day on the greens, although his putting was strong as well, including this long par save:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Saving par in style. 🚶 Tiger walks it in from the edge of the green. https://t.co/xXe7MambxK

After carding two birdies and one bogey on the front nine, Woods went to work on the back, which is where he made up most of his ground on the day.

From the 11th hole on, Tiger sunk four birdie putts and didn't have a single bogey. That included a birdie on the par-four 18th, which sent him into the clubhouse on a high note:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Closing out Round 3 strong. @TigerWoods birdies three of his last five holes including the 18th to go 5-under on the day. https://t.co/S2Bk1yfT3p

After another quality round, Tiger has a legitimate chance to win the tournament Saturday, which could lead to a lofty position in the world rankings, according to Justin Ray of 15th Club:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Tiger could move as high as 4th in the world with a win at Hero this week. Patrick Reed, who leads entering the 3rd round, could move as high as 11th.

The win would also mark Tiger's second in two months, as he won the Zozo Championship in Japan in October. That is significant since Woods largely struggled after winning the Masters in April until getting off the schneid in October.

Playing great golf now doesn't ensure that Woods will still be playing at this level when the 2020 Masters roll around in April, but it is a good sign that the 15-time major champion is in rhythm.

If Tiger manages to keep the momentum going by winning the Hero World Challenge as well, it figures to give him a ton of confidence heading into next week's Presidents Cup.