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Tiger Woods Struggles, Shoots 2-Over in 3rd Round at the Northern Trust

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2020

Tiger Woods makes his second attempted shot out of a trap on the fourteenth tee during the third round of the Northern Trust golf tournament at TPC Boston, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Norton, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Tiger Woods had another tough day at the office Saturday during the third round of The Northern Trust as he shot a two-over 73 at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts.

Woods carded three birdies and five bogeys on the day, and when he arrived in the clubhouse, he was in 68th place out of 70 players remaining in the tournament at one-under. Tiger has gotten progressively worse throughout the tourney; he shot a three-under 68 in the first round and even-par 71 in the second.

It initially looked like it might be a good day for Woods, who was paired with four-time major champion Rory McIlroy. After a par on the first, Tiger birdied the par-five second thanks to a great approach shot:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Tiger and Rory are throwing darts early. 🎯 #QuickHits https://t.co/AlnusBBi2O

Things started to go south shortly thereafter, however, as he bogeyed the third hole largely because of a flubbed chip, per Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker:

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

So, he missed the bunker. Was in the thick stuff and chunked the chip. Still not on the green, left it on the fringe. He gets up there quickly and thinks about chipping it. Takes a moment, and almost chips it in. But it’s a bogey at the third. #71watch

Woods followed that up with another bogey on the fifth, but he made birdie on the par-four ninth to make the turn at even par for the day.

Things got much worse for the 15-time major champion on the back nine, as bogeys on the 11th, 12th and 14th dropped him all the way to three over for the round and even par for the tournament.

Woods' playing partner, McIlroy, struggled just as much and finished his round with a three-over 74 to put himself in 69th place out of 70 golfers.

Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel marveled at how quiet it was around the Woods-McIlroy pairing with no fans in attendance during the coronavirus pandemic, as they would normally be surrounded by a large gallery:

Ryan Lavner @RyanLavnerGC

Still wild to me that Tiger and Rory are playing together, and yet it’s so quiet you can hear water bottles being opened 50 yards away.

If fans would have been present, they finally would have had something to cheer about on the par-five 18th with Tiger ending his day on a high note with a birdie.

Per ESPN's Bob Harig, Woods is projected to be 59th in the FedEx Cup standings after The Northern Trust, meaning he would need to finish fifth or better at next week's BMW Championship to have a chance to advance.

Tiger is nowhere near contention at The Northern Trust, as he trailed leader Dustin Johnson by 14 strokes when he entered the clubhouse. If he can show some improvement in Sunday's final round, though, it could go a long way toward getting him back where he needs to be ahead of the BMW Championship.