Woods electrifies, sets personal best in impressive 3rd-round comeback
Tiger Woods looked like he pulled his game from 20 years ago, put it in a time machine and brought it to Saturday’s third round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
He shot a 7-under 65 in the process of moving from 1-under-par, where he barely made the cut Friday afternoon, to 8-under, just several strokes off second place.
As noted by CBS Sports, Woods even set a personal best for the course.
“Woods’ 30 on the front nine was his best-ever score on the front nine at TPC Sawgrass, and it was his best nine-hole score since his injury-riddled body started falling apart a half decade ago. The 65 overall was also Woods’ best score on this course (where he’s won twice),” CBS reported.
Woods could have done even better if he had performed as well on the back nine as he did on the front nine.
Coming out of the chute, you’d have thought he was the version of himself from his namesake video game on the old PlayStation.
Woods recorded eight birdies on the first 12 holes, putting the ball just 15 times and executing the classic drive-pitch-putt game to exquisite perfection.
Just watch this honey of a tee shot on the par-3 13th hole.
On 12 of his first 13 holes, Woods’ birdie chances came from inside 20 feet. Give a pro 13 chances from that close and 8-under almost seems easy if you forget how much of a challenge it is to consistently deliver approach shots from that close.
Unfortunately, Woods’ Cinderella golf cart turned into a pumpkin on the 14th hole.
The 14th and 15th holes featured Woods missing badly with his tee shots, forced to scramble and ultimately settle for bogeys. He dropped from 9-under through 13 to 7-under for the round.
Consider what might have been after he took a 6-under 30 into the back nine. If he’d kept that up, he might’ve had tournament leader Webb Simpson (15-under through two rounds) quaking in his boots as he teed the ball up in the afternoon.
The last time Woods shot a 30 on a nine-hole stretch of golf course? It just happened to be his last win, at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in 2013.
Woods’ best round of 2018 so far was a 68.
The 42-year-old himself spoke to his achievement.
“Sixty five was probably as high as I could have shot today, which was nice,” Woods said after the second round on Saturday. “I wish I could repeat (the score) more often, but it was just a better start. I got off to a much better quality start. Eventually, I’ll put all of the pieces together, and today for the most part I did that. I hit a lot of good, quality shots.”
Woods now gets to sit and watch as the leaders play their rounds.
How the leaderboard looks at the end of the day will depend on whether Woods’ round was exceptional and historic or simply a sign that the course is playing easy in the spring Florida sun.
But for now, Tiger Woods is back. Hopefully for his sake he’s back for good.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.