Tiger Woods will be in contention on Sunday, February 12. After a strong third round at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Woods is 11 under for the tournament and tied for third place behind Charlie Wi and Ken Duke. For the first time in the tournament, Woods ha his putter working. At one stretch he made six birdies in eight holes to help complete a third round 67. Right now Woods might have the momentum to carry him to his first PGA win since 2009. If nothing else it will be fun to see him in the mix in the final round.
This is shaping up to be a great tournament for Woods. He has already opened with three straight rounds under 70. He didn't do that once in 2010 or 2011. He seemed to have figured out his putter for the first time in a long time during that stretch of eight holes. Even though Woods didn't do much after that it is significant that he was able to find his stride at all. His excitement was visible as he drained putt after putt. It felt like a long time since we have seen that kind of Tiger.
We will see him in the trademark red shirt in the final round. He will be playing in one of the later groups, something we haven't been accustomed to seeing the last couple of years. He will be seeking his first meaningful win in what feels like an eternity. It is starting to feel like destiny that Tiger will win this tournament. His performance in the third round was a lot like the ones we regularly saw from Woods prior to 2009. For once he is flowing with confidence entering the final round.
There are still some things that need to happen for Woods. Though he is in third place he is still four shots behind the leader. That is a substantial gap for one round. As great as his career has been, Tiger isn't really known for rallying to win in the final round. He is more accustomed to retaining a lead. But this isn't the old Tiger. Maybe this new Tiger is ready to make a statement. It should be exciting for golf fans to see if he can get the job done.
* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. Follow him on Twitter here.
- Tiger Woods