Tiger Woods score: Bogey-free round not enough to get into contention in Round 3 at Northern Trust
Big Cat isn't making many bogeys this week, but he's not doing much of anything else either
Tiger Woods did not make a bogey on Saturday in his 3-under 68 in Round 3 of The Northern Trust. He's made just four bogeys on the week, which ranks No. 4 in the field and could get better as the third round wears on. The problem for him so far is that he's not making enough birdies, either. It's been loads of pars and no contention to show for it.
Woods' 68 on Saturday -- his first bogey-free round of 2018 -- was right at his PGA Tour-leading Round 3 average, and he hit the number with two birdies in his last five holes. With the 3-under score, Woods got to 3 under overall for the week and climbed to within seven of a lead he won't even be able to see by the end of the day.
I'm not sure if you can have moments when you're that far back of the lead, but if you can before lunch on a Saturday morning, Woods did at the 18th. He hit his ninth fairway of the day (the same number all three days, thus far) with a 314-yard missile and held off an iron from 161 yards to 6 feet. With phones waving all around him, Woods gave them what they came for at Ridgewood Country Club and shook hands to a closing birdie.
It was one of the few putts he made on the day and the week. After losing three strokes to the field in Round 2 with his putter, Woods again lost over a stroke on Saturday. He's 78th in the field this week in that category and has given up over a stroke a round. He's not necessarily wasting an elite ball-striking performance, but he's not helping his chances on these greens, either.
The new reality for Woods in his 40s after four back surgeries is that he's simply not going to contend every single week. There will be weeks, of course, like the PGA Championship and Valspar Championship where Woods wins or nearly wins and thrills in the process. Then there will be weeks like this one at The Northern Trust where his ball-striking is just a smidge off or his putter won't cover up a multitude of sins.
Woods has been good enough this week to make the cut and put himself in position to at least not lose ground in the FedEx Cup rankings going into the final three playoff events. And while I'm still not sure we know what to do with a "good enough" Woods, the moments are still cool moments. Even if they come when he's way out of contention with no chance at his first win since 2013.
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