Only seven of the 23 players who made it to the 36-hole cut were left, and they were still playing at Riviera Country club on Saturday.
Only Rahm, the player who might very well have the hottest on the planet, did better in the third round. Tiger WoodsThe week started with a ranking of 1,294th in the world. He hadn’t played in an official PGA Tour event for more than seven months.
The 15-time major champion carded an impressive 4-under 67 to make it to 3 under after 54 holes. Woods third round score tied for third lowest of the day. Denny McCarthyRahm was 6 over and Woods had a 7-under 64. Woods, 47 years old, is tied for 26th, having started the round tied for 56th.
Woods stated, I wanted to get in contact with the leaders today. I wanted to shoot a lower round than I did in order to reach out to them with a low round tomorrow. It might be a little too far.
Woods tied his lowest score to par in a round for the Masters, when he shot a 4-under-par 68 after 18 holes. Woods is looking for his first top-25 finish since being tied for ninth at Januarys Farmers Insurance Open.
Woods will play 18 holes in four days for the first-time since Aprils Masters, when he was 47th. It was his first official event after he was seriously hurt in a car accident in Los Angeles in February 2021. He only played nine rounds in the three major championships last year.
Woods performed much better than Fridays bogeys, which put him at risk of missing the weekend tournament. He recorded a birdie, an eagle, and three birdies. His bogey record was not complete until the 16th hole. Woods hit 9 of the 14 fairways and 12 greens, and averaged 306.4 yards from the tee.
Woods said that she felt like she made some adjustments to my putting. That was what kept her back yesterday. I have driven it well for the past three days. My iron play is good. The firm conditions I like are perfect for iron play. I just wish I could putt a bit better yesterday. I made some adjustments today, and some putts went in.
Woods made the turn at 2 under for his round and had his best shot of day on the par-5 second hole. He had 190 yards remaining after his 316-yard drive into the rough. He hit his second shot around the greenside bunker, but his ball came to a stop 3 feet beyond the hole. He made it to 4 under with an eagle at the Rivieras most difficult hole.
Woods shot his tee shot to the green from the par-3 4th. He made a spectacular chip shot out of the rough at 43 feet. To save par, his ball stopped one foot from the hole. He made a 12-foot birdie to reach 5 under on the next hole. He added another great chip from his fringe to avoid a par-3 on the sixth.
Woods one bogey of round was on the seventh hole. His second shot hit the green short and left. Woods chipped up to 22 feet, and the putt was short to bring his score back to 4 under.
Joe LaCava, Woods caddie, stated that Woods didn’t have a good warmup prior to the round due to a problem in his shoes. Everything went smoothly once that problem was resolved.
LaCava stated that he believes he only put himself in a bad situation once, which was seven years ago. That was three yards. We talked about going 10ft from where he was. The guy is human. Other than that, it was a flawless round.
Woods started his round on South Africas back nine for the second straight day. Playing with South Africas Christiaan BezuidenhoutAustrias Matthias SchwabWoods had a much better start to the second round, when he shot a 3-over 75. He made a 16-foot birdie on No. He nearly missed a par-5 11th-hole birdie of 7 feet.
Schwab, who had never played alongside Woods, said that he was surprised by how far he was hitting it.
Schwab said that Chris and I were talking about it. He outdroved us almost on every hole, which was a little surprising.
Woods par-4 13th hole tee shot went right. His ball ended up in a jacket a fan had around his waist. Woods was awarded a free drop after the fan took off his jacket. He eventually made par on the hole.
Woods nearly made the par-3 14th hole, but his tee shot rolled off of the green and settled on its fringe. Woods sank an 18-footer to move to 2-under. He also had birdie putts at each of the four next holes, including an 11 footer on No. 16 that appeared to have been a misread, but they didn’t fall. He was never at risk of making a mistake on his first nine holes, scoring a 2-under 34.
LaCava said that Woods four-day span of playing golf has been very stressful for his surgically repaired right leg and ankle. Woods also played 16 holes during Wednesdays pro am and walked 18.
LaCava stated, I think thats the place where Im a bit more surprised. The golf has been good, but the fact that he looks strong and is not tired at the end of each round is a positive sign. There are still 88 holes to play, so hell be done tomorrow.
People believe Riviera is flat. However, there are some hills. I have noticed that he is keeping up with the guys who are coming off the tees this week and is not trailing. He could be just putting it all together, but he wont tell me that he doesnt feel well.
Woods seemed encouraged by his progress. However, he said that it was too early for him to know if he would be playing again before the Masters. This is the first major championship of this season and will be played at Augusta National Golf Club, April 6-9. The Players, another high-profile event with a $25,000,000 purse, will be played March 9-12 at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, Florida.
Woods stated that he hoped to play tomorrow and win a good tournament. Post-event, we will reassess everything, see where we are and see how I recover from a full tourney, he said. I haven’t done this in a while. It was the Open Championship that I did it last time. [in July]Its been a while. Hopefully, the body will feel better by next week. Recovery time will be fun, as it is right now.