After shooting 1-under following the first two rounds and barely making the cut at The Players Championship, Tiger Woods came out roaring on Saturday.
The 14-time major champion birdied eight of his first 12 holes en route to a 7-under 65 (his best score ever in 66 rounds at The Players) and rocketed up the leaderboard and into contention at the PGA Tour’s signature event.
Commonly known as golf’s fifth major due to it’s prestige on Tour, famed TPC Sawgrass course and large winners purse, Woods has won the event twice (2001 and 2013) in 17 appearances. He hasn’t played the tournament since 2015, when he tied for 69th.
Looking to make one last push while rocking his Sunday red, Tiger teed off at 2:05 p.m. ET alongside Jordan Spieth for The Players Championship’s final round.
Follow his final round with our hole-by-hole tracker throughout the day:
Hole 18 – Par 4
Tiger’s final tee shot of the weekend is a perfect iron stinger down the fairway. The approach finds the green and Tiger leaves the course with a two-putt par. A once-promising round turns into a 3-under 69 (11-under for the tournament).
Hole 17 – Par 3
Splash. After Jordan Spieth nearly holed-out off the tee, Tiger found the water short. He goes to the drop zone and safely finds the island green for a look at bogey. Nope. Tiger had the right pace just wrong line by about an inch. Oof. Double-bogey. 3-under thru 17 (11-under for the tournament).
Hole 16 – Par 5
Tiger went 3-wood off the tee and caught the right rough just off the fairway. Not a great lie for Tiger, so he pulls sand wedge and lays up in the fairway. Tiger found the green on the approach but it’s a lengthy putt for birdie. The 17-footer had the right pace just the wrong line and misses right. Tap-in par. 5-under thru 16 (13-under for the tournament).
Leaderboard update: Webb Simpson is cruising at 19-under, followed by Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner at 14-under.
Hole 15 – Par 4
Tiger’s driver is on fire today. This one carried about 300-yards off the tee and he’s in a good position here. He lands the approach on the green and gives it some spin, leaving it just under 20-feet for birdie. The putt just misses. Par. 5-under thru 15 (13-under for the tournament).
Hole 14 – Par 4
Tiger pulls driver and hammers it 354-yards (not a typo, that really happened). he was left with a little flip wedge into the green but put way too much spin on it, rolling the ball off the green. He went with the putter onto the green bu then missed the par. Rough bogey to drop to 5-under thru 14 (13-under for the tournament).
Hole 13 – Par 3
Tough one here for Tiger. He goes a little long off the tee but finds the green. Tiger’s birdie putt lagged its way within a few inches, leaving a tap-in par. 6-under thru 13 (14-under for the tournament).
Hole 12 – Par 4
No. 12 is reachable at 299 yards but Tiger’s tee shot goes dead right. He gets lucky with a bounce off the tree and takes advantage with an incredible pitch to set up another birdie chance. 6-under thru 12 (14-under for the tournament).
Hole 11 – Par 5
Nothing to see here, just another perfect drive from Tiger down the middle of the fairway. EAGLE OPPORTUNITY! Tiger’s second shot finds the green and rolls pin-high left. The eagle doesn’t land, but the birdie does: 5-under thru 11 (13-under for the tournament).
Hole 10 – Par 4
Tiger hits a pure, low-flying stinger with an iron off the tee to start his back-nine. He follows that with a nifty approach that nestles up close to the hole for a birdie shot. Tiger misses this one right but taps in for par. 4-under thru 10 (12-under for the tournament).
Thoughts at the turn
Two words: Vintage Tiger. He’s been saying for weeks he’s close to getting back to his level of play and we’ve seen that the last two days. He’s smoking his drivers off the tee, his approach shots are where they need to be and the putts are finally falling. It’s a long shot to catch Webb Simpson but this is tournament-winning golf from Tiger.
Hole 9 – Par 5
Grip it. Rip it. Twirl it. Tiger smokes this one 320-yards down the left side of the fairway of the tee. Tiger tried to shape his shot right-to-left around some trees but instead misses the green right. He avoids two mini green-side bunkers but is in the rough. His chip comes up short but Tiger sinks the birdie putt to card a 4-under 32 on the front. (12-under for the tournament).
Hole 8 – Par 3
Dead left off the tee here. Tiger finds the left green-side bunker on No. 8. Tiger got creative with his out from the bunker, hitting it long and letting it trickle off a slope on the green. He’s got a chance to get up-and-down from there and drills the 7-footer to save par. 3-under thru 8 (11-under for the tournament).
Hole 7 – Par 4
YAHTZEE! MASHED POTATOES! Tiger crushes his drive down the fairway here, once again. He was pleading for his approach to “go hard” but instead it found the front green-side bunker. It’s a pretty good out with not a lot of green to work with, and Tiger’s able to get up-and-down for par. 3-under thru 7 (11-under for the tournament).
Hole 6 – Par 4
Tiger goes iron off the tee on No. 6 and bounces from the rough into the fairway. From 135-yards out he sticks this one behind the pin for a chance at four birdies in a row. The birdie putt was close but he’s left to tap-in for par. 3-under thru 6 (11-under for the tournament).
Hole 5 – Par 4
Another perfect drive from Tiger. He really smashed this one. His approach lands near the hole and runs just a bit past, but it’s a shot for a third consecutive birdie. Never a doubt here, this ball looked like it was destined for the cup. That’s three birdies in a row to get to 3-under thru 5 (11-under for the tournament).
Hole 4 – Par 4
Tiger’s tee shot finds the left side of the fairway and his approach is borderline-perfect. It trickles down a slope on the green and nestles right next to the cup. Another one (DJ Khaled voice). Tiger gets back-to-back birdies and drops to 2-under thru 4 (10-under for the tournament).
Leaderboard update: Webb Simpson just teed off and leads the field by seven strokes at 19-under. Danny Lee is in second at 12-under.
Hole 3 – Par 3
He went right at this one. A pretty straight shot finds the center of the green. It’s relatively flat so Tiger will have a good look at birdie here. Chip, chirp, chirp: the putt falls. 1-under thru 3 (9-under for the tournament).
Hole 2 – Par 5
Well, this one went right. Tiger’s 3-wood off the tee is in the pine straw and could be in some trouble with the trees. He’s able to pitch out to the fairway but his approach to the green goes long. He throws up a useful chip within a few feet to get up-and-down. Par. Even thru 2 (8-under for the tournament).
Hole 1 – Par 4
BOOM. Tiger pulls the big dog on No. 1 and smokes it down the middle of the fairway. His approach shot just trickles off the green and he elects to putt next. Not a bad look here but it’s a two-putt par. Even thru 1 (8-under for the tournament).
Source: 11 Alive News
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