After three solid rounds at the Wyndham Championship, Tiger Woods is in the hunt for his first PGA Tour victory in nearly two years. On Saturday, Woods fired a two-under 68 and finds himself in a tie for second and two strokes of the lead heading into Sunday’s final round. A win here this week would be Tiger’s 80th victory overall, and with his season on line he desperately needs a first place finish to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
The former world number one started his third round on a high note with a birdie on the first hole and then followed with another birdie at the par-five fifth. He would go on to make a streak of 10 consecutive pars before finally dropping in a birdie putt on the par-three 16th. Unfortunately for Woods, he bogeyed his final hole after lipping out a five footer for par.
Tiger’s highlight of the day came at the par-four 10th where he faced a delicate flop from the greenside rough. He was unable to stop his pitch from rolling down the slick putting surface, and faced a 21-foot par putt coming back. It was a crucial moment in the round, and Woods confidently drained the putt to keep the momentum going. The fist pump and the loud cheer from the crowd were all signs that the Tiger Woods of old had finally come to play some golf.
According to stats provided by the PGA Tour’s website, Woods hit 11 out of 14 fairways, 14 out of 18 greens, and needed 31 putts to find the bottom of the hole. After his round the 14-time major champion spoke to the media, and according to reports by USA Today, commented on his struggles on the putting green. Woods faced many slick downhill putts that put him on the defensive.
“I kept leaving myself in tough spots above the hole on every single hole. I had to putt too defensively because of it. Consequently I didn’t make a run with a bunch of birdies. I saw Jason and Jonas went out there and shot a number. You can do it, just put yourself below the hole. Greens are so smooth and perfect, just put it in the right spots and you can run the tables.”
Heading into Sunday’s final round trailing by two shots, Tiger will need to be the one running the tables if he is to hoist the trophy and salvage his disappointing 2015 season. His iron play has been solid all week long and his touch around the greens has been spot on; all he needs is to continue to fire on all cylinders for 18 more holes.
Woods tees off in the second to last pairing on Sunday at 1:55 p.m. Eastern time, and finds himself in a familiar position he has held all throughout his career. And there’s no reason to question why he won’t close it out for the win.
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)