Tiger Finishes Round 3 Tied for 31st
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tiger Woods went back to basics, using a wristy putting stroke, and it paid dividends Saturday in the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship.
He didn’t cash in completely, but forged six birdies and a 3-under-par 68 at Quail Hollow Club to climb into a tie for 31st, an improvement of 17 places in the standings. Woods has a 54-hole score of 2-under 212, nine strokes behind leader Jason Day.
“I went a little more old school, how I used to putt,” said Woods. “A little more handsy and the toe moving a lot more and it worked.”
Not that he was satisfied.
“I was so close to shooting about 7, 8-under today,” he said. “I still didn’t have enough pace on a couple that I left on the lip.”
For the third straight day, Woods used more than 30 putts (31) and has 95 this week.
“I just haven’t made anything,” he said. “If I would have just putted normal, I would have been up there near the lead.”
Scoring conditions were ideal and the tees were moved up on many holes. Woods took advantage, hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation, matching his best total of the year accomplished in the final round of the Masters.
“I’m hitting the ball well enough to contend, to win this golf tournament,” said Woods.
Paired with Brooks Koepka for the third consecutive round, Woods started slowly with a bogey at the par-4 second and was 1-over through four holes. But he heated up with a birdie at the fifth, then added others at the seventh and eighth to turn in 1-under 34.
Woods got rolling on the back nine, making three birdies in a row at 13, 14 and 15. He gave himself another good look at 16 but couldn’t convert.
Woods drove the green with a 3-wood at the 320-yard par-4 14th, the ball releasing 81 feet past the pin. He nearly drained it, leaving his eagle attempt a few inches short.
A three-putt bogey from 42 feet at the par-4 18th left a sour taste, but Woods knows his game is coming around in his seventh start of the season.
“I’m close,” said Woods.
He’ll look to continue his good play Sunday, teeing off at 11:05 a.m. ET with Brandon Harkins. In 11 weekend rounds in 2018, Woods has shot par or better.