June 30, 2018

Tiger Tied for 10th After Round 3 of Quicken Loans National

POTOMAC, Md. – Saturday is called moving day on the PGA Tour, and that’s what Tiger Woods did at the Quicken Loans National.

After a sluggish start, he reeled off consecutive birdies at four, five, six and seven to climb within one stroke of the lead at sauna-like TPC Potomac. When he slammed in a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-3 ninth, the massive crowd went into a frenzy.

Woods gave himself great chances on the back nine but muster only one more birdie at the par-4 16th. He’ll be kicking himself Saturday night for short misses at 10 and 11, and failed to birdie the short par-4 14th after carving a sweet 3-wood just over the green.

Still, he posted a 2-under-par 70 and is tied for 10th heading into Sunday’s final round. Woods has a 54-hole score of 7-under, six strokes behind co-leaders Abraham Ancer and Francesco Molinari at -13.

“Frustrating,” Woods said afterward. “I played better than the score indicates.”

Woods entered boasting the lowest third round scoring average on the PGA Tour this season at 68.50.

Starting the day tied for 11th, four strokes off the lead, Woods bogeyed the par-4 first, then steadied with a scrambling up-and-down from the greenside bunker at the par-3 second, draining a 15-foot putt.

“That turned it around,” he said.

Following a par at the third, he caught fire.

Paired with Joel Dahmen, Woods knocked a 9-iron to seven feet at the fourth and found the bottom of the cup. He poured in another mid-range birdie putt at the par-4 fifth, crushed a 307-yard drive and smoothed an 8-iron to 12 feet to secure his third-straight at the par-4 sixth, then spun his second shot eight feet behind the pin at the par-4 seventh and rolled in the downhill right to left putt.

A poor drive into the left rough and flyer over the back of the green resulted in his second bogey at the par-4 eighth. But Woods regained the dropped shot quickly, dunking his birdie putt at the ninth to turn in 3-under 32.

The back nine could have been special, but Woods was unable to sustain his momentum. He offset his lone birdie with bogeys at 14 and 18, the last especially painful.

Faced with a long, uphill bunker shot with his third at the last, Woods hit a beautiful explosion shot about seven feet past the hole. He gave the par putt a long look and desperately wanted to finish strong, but he couldn’t convert.

“Making four bogeys definitely hurt,” said Woods. “I figured I had to get to 10-under.”

In 10 previous starts in 2018, Woods has produced four top-12 finishes and two top-5’s, highlighted by a tie for second at the Valspar Championship in early March. He is seeking his 80th PGA Tour title.

Woods, also serving as tournament host, tees off Sunday at 1:20 p.m. ET with Bronson Burgoon.

A two-time winner of the tournament, Woods hopes the course plays firm and tough.

The weather will be cooking.

“If they leave it on the fast side and I make some birdies, I might have a chance,” he said.

Proceeds from the event go to the TGR Foundation and local youth charities.