Woods fired a 1-under 69 within the third spherical of the Honda Basic – his first spherical within the 60s on the PGA Tour in 917 days – and sits even par by 54 holes. The 42-year-old really completed the spherical seven off the lead (held by Luke Record) regardless of beginning it 4 again.
However Woods moved up from T-14 to T-11, and Saturday was one other spherical to construct on – even when there’s nonetheless a great deal to be desired.
With the winds down a bit, Woods appeared to have essentially the most command of his sport but this week. After beginning his first two rounds with some wayward pictures, he was sharp from the start Saturday.
He opened his spherical with three easy pars earlier than being examined on the par-Four fourth. However he drained a 7-footer for par to maintain issues on observe. Three extra pars adopted to make it seven straight to start out, and Woods really missed some birdie alternatives to get his spherical rolling.
However he made up for it a bit when he launched a 9-iron to six toes on the par-Four eighth and drained the putt for a birdie to maneuver to 1 underneath for the day and even par total.
Woods continued to present himself birdie possibilities however couldn’t capitalize at Nos. 9, 10 and 11. He confirmed his mettle, although, on the par-Four 12th.
He blasted his drive there right into a bunker, hit his second into the lip and wedged to 17 toes after his second bounded out of the bunker into the green.
After that mess, Woods drained the putt for a key par – with a fist pump besides. He used that momentum on the subsequent, draining a 15-footer for birdie to maneuver to 2 underneath for the day and 1 underneath for the match.
Nevertheless, that will show to be his high-water mark for the spherical.
The Bear Lure (Nos. 15-17) acquired Woods once more. A day after discovering the water proper on the par-Three 15th, Woods bailed properly left within the tough. It price him a bogey, ending his bogey-free run on the day. He then bogeyed the par-Three 17th after one other left miss off the tee.
Woods was in a position to end sturdy, although, by chipping to inches for a birdie on the par-5 18th – his first birdie on a par 5 all week.
On the day, Woods discovered 9 of 14 fairways, hit 13 of 18 greens and took 29 putts.
This was definitely the most effective he seemed driving the ball all week, and his method play additionally gave the impression to be at its greatest all week for a lot of the spherical.
For the primary time in these three days, Woods really appeared to be capturing a worse rating than the best way he was taking part in. He was in management from tee to inexperienced a lot of the spherical and missed a variety of mid-range birdie possibilities over the primary 11 holes.
His work across the greens remained strong, however his putter was undoubtedly simply lukewarm for a lot of the day. If it had been scorching, this might’ve been a rating within the mid-60s.
As soon as once more, Woods struggled to complete out a spherical, too. His ball-striking fell aside a bit on the finish, particularly on tee pictures on the closing par 3s. Woods additionally did himself no favors together with his full wedges on Saturday, as he did not get method pictures shut with these golf equipment.
However he’s nonetheless proving the items are there in simply his third official PGA Tour begin in his return.
He’ll have a great shot Sunday to greatest his T-23 on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open. If on Sunday his ball-striking can keep prefer it was for many of Spherical Three and his putter is scorching, you by no means know.
It was six years in the past that Woods closed in 62 on the Honda Basic, practically finishing a nine-shot comeback.
Woods has loads of work to do, however Sunday stays filled with prospects.