AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods, dressed for Easter Sunday, put on a show this Masters Saturday. Woods shot a 67 in Round 3 -- his best score at Augusta National since the final round in 2011, eight years ago. It was enough to get him to 11 under for the week and into the final group on Sunday with Francesco Molinari (-13) and Tony Finau (-11).

Let me repeat: Tiger Woods is in the final group on Sunday at the Masters.

Players will start in threesomes at 7:30 a.m. ET to get ahead of what could be some bad weather in the afternoon. Woods and his crew tee off at 9:20 a.m.

The story of the Masters at Augusta National is told in colors and numbers. The popping pink azaleas, the fruit punch red of the boards, all of it splayed against a background as green as the sky is blue. The premise is simple, but getting to the end of the maze at the top of the pile is endlessly complex. Woods cut contrastingly against this phalanx of beauty on Saturday with his mauve mock shirt and energy-drink green logo on the bag. He stood out because of his appearance -- never has a man made light purple and neon green look so appealing -- but he also stood out because of his play.

There is always anxiety over noises you hear on the grounds of Augusta National. Because phones and similar electronic devices are not allowed (a great policy, by the way), you may hear something thunderous halfway across the course and have no idea what's unfolding. Patrons have to wait until the plinko-style leaderboards are manually updated, and every break in the action near a board on Saturday led to every human being in a reasonable radius staring at one surname: Woods. This is part of the storytelling.

After starting the round with four consecutive pars, Woods bogeyed the fifth for the third straight day. Volunteers slapped a red "5" on the leaderboards to indicate that he'd dropped a shot from 6 under to 5 under. 

A 6 and then a 7 and then an 8 -- all red -- were popped into their proper slots when Big Cat birdied the sixth and the seventh and the eighth. Another 8 came at the ninth and received a similar ovation from those at the hole as Woods miraculously saved par despite finding the pines and coming up short on his second. Woods closed the first nine in 2-under 34, and then the board operators really went to work. 

A tight, spinny chip on No. 13 led to birdie. The spectators on that hole -- the start of Tiger's run down the second nine -- were unfathomably silent as Woods settled in for what would be a putt to get to 9 under. I'm always astonished at how still and silent 5,000 humans can be when Tiger is addressing a golf ball. It can be unnerving. Right before he brought his putter back, a bird took off the other way down the 14th fairway. It's not notable except that it's not something you often see at Augusta National. It was also the only noise anyone heard as Woods hit his putt ... until he sank it and the place erupted.

Another superb chip led to another birdie at No. 15 after Woods blasted his second over the green. He touched double digits under par for the first time. His tee shot on No. 16 was one of the best of the day, and he stepped after the birdie putt to tie the lead at 11 under. Volunteers put the single digits away for Woods' slot on the board. He's not likely to need them again.

The lower Woods goes, the faster the pace around him quickens. He is an anchor, but his orbit has multiple velocities, and one of the fastest I've ever seen took place on Saturday. You can't run at Augusta National, but boy were folks trying to test what the definition of running is. The stands for the pairings coming in behind Woods were spotty, and they included multiple top 10 players in the world. Such is the orbit of Big Cat. The group following him seemed to grow exponentially.

A par-par finish puts Tiger is 11 under, two back of Molinari. Woods walked up the throat of the green on No. 18 to raucous applause as folks breathed in fertilizer dust, sweat and sunscreen and breathed out adulation for the best most of them have ever seen. Scoreboard operators grabbed binoculars next to the 18th green and stuck them over the board with his name on it. They wanted to watch the history they were recording.

It's a good thing sobriety tests were not administered as patrons spilled out of Augusta National on Saturday evening. I'm not sure anyone who followed Tiger would have passed. Folks were inebriated on nostalgia, and the emblem of that nostalgia is Woods' scripting this week.

Nearly a decade and half has passed since Woods last won at Augusta, but those silly mock shirts are a reminder that time often stands still here. Though Woods has aged a lot outside the ropes, he often looks the exact same inside them.

As Woods walked through that 18th green after tapping in for 67, he passed through two tunnels of patrons and headed for the scoring building. As he left the first and approached the second, he tried and failed to conceal a smile. It was a spectacular reception, but he knows the real banquet is set for Sunday afternoon.

Two hours later, from that same spot where Woods grinned at his own greatness, I looked back down the course at the setting sun. Augusta National at dusk is the best version of Augusta National. A smattering of members relax under the green and white umbrellas next to the clubhouse. The air smelled of gasoline and freshly cut grass. A neat set of 14 industrial-sized mowers made a flying V up the first fairway toward the tee box. And as the sunset piped through the pines for a last gasp at lighting up this magical place, I couldn't help but wonder what it would illuminate the next time we see it.

Would it be Molinari joining Tom Watson, Gary Player and Ben Hogan as the only men to take Carnoustie and Augusta in a career? Would it be Finau bouncing back from last year's ankle incident on the Par 3 course to win the big one on the par 72 course? Would it be Brooks Koepka joining Rory McIlroy in the four-major club?

Or would it be -- as it has been four times previously -- the most talented golfer to ever navigate this course defying time and history and science and rationality and at the age of 43 once again taking down the most famous tournament in the world? It wouldn't be that, right? It couldn't be that, right?!

The story of the Masters is told in colors and numbers. Some, like lavender and neon green, need many explanations. Others, like the red shirt that will match Woods' red numbers on Sunday, do not.

In the end, the story of this Masters -- and every Masters -- has sleeves and is a rich shade of green. It will be shouldered upon a winner on Sunday afternoon after the 65 players who are still in this field finish the 72 holes they have been commissioned to play. 

For 11 of the top 12 golfers on this year's leaderboard, it could be the first time they wear that jacket. For Tiger, it would be the fifth, as improbable as that may have seemed just two years ago.

On to Sunday.