Tiger Woods said on Friday afternoon that he needed a load of birdies early and often on Saturday in Round 3 to get himself back in the 2020 Genesis Invitational. Unfortunately for him, he got a lot of the opposite. Woods shot a 5-over 76 in Round 3 on Saturday, and we’ll get into how it all went as we break down his penultimate round at Riviera Country Club this year.
Front nine (5-over 41): The word “astonishing” comes to mind. Woods played the easy 10th and 11th holes (he started on the back nine) in 1 over. Then, it got really bad. He doubled the par-4 13th, and followed that with two more bogeys over the last few holes. The one that popped was the four-putt at No. 13. His first putt was from 18 feet, and his second was from 3 feet. And he four-putted.
Back nine (even-par 35): Tiger played a lot better at the beginning of his back nine with birdies at the easy first as well as the par-4 third, but it was way too little, far too late at that point. Then he touched off what has to be one of the worst putting rounds of his career with a three-putt bogey on the par-4 ninth. The (im)perfect ending to a terrible round.
What went well: Tiger once again hit his irons pretty well on Saturday. He took a break from that on Friday, but overall he’s been top 20 in the field in iron play, which is right where he was on Saturday. We didn’t see as many mis-hit wedges and missed greens from distances Tiger should not be missing greens from.
What went poorly: As someone who watched that four-putt noted above with my hands over my face, I have to present you with some unbelievable putting numbers for the Big Cat: last in the field on Saturday, nearly last in the field on the week. He lost five (FIVE!) strokes to the field with his putter in Round 3, and two of those came on the 13th hole. Here’s a related graphic from our friends at Golf Channel.
The crazy part to me is that a lot of these putts weren’t even touching the hole. He was missing 4-footers without touching the edge. He was missing 8-footers by 2 feet. It was incredible to watch because we’ve seen it so rarely over the course of his career.
Quote of the day: “I feel stiff, but I have weeks like that, especially in the cold mornings like it was the other day,” Woods told reporters. “Don’t quite move as well, and that’s just kind of how it’s going to go.”
Where he stands: Woods is now 5 over for the week and nearly in last place. That actually means he’ll have a late tee time on Sunday because players will be grouped in threes and going off both tees. So Tiger will be one of the last guys off the 10th as he tries to clean up the mess he made on Saturday.