By Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
NORTON, Mass. — Tiger Woods let the scoring portion of the golf course get away from him on Sunday. He had played the first four holes in 5 under during the first two rounds, but Sunday played them in even par. The 5 he made at the par-5 second hole was particularly frustrating. Woods hit a 330 yard drive, leaving him just 179 yards for his second shot and he blocked an 8-iron to the right, barely avoiding the hazard. Woods appeared to attempt to hit few draws the remainder of the round.
Pepsi please: Keegan Bradley barely made the cut but went out early and shoot 63 on Sunday. What was the difference? Steve “Pepsi” Hale was back on the bag. Hale missed the first two rounds attending to a family emergency. The Bradley/Hale team was back together for the third round and the comfort level was evident on the course and on the scoreboard.
Opening act: The first hole is the shortest par 4 on the course, measuring just 375 yards and yet it gave up just a dozen birdies in the third round. The hole was cut 28 paces on the green and nine from the left edge, but that location sits right on top of a ridge and anything to the left of the flagstick released off the green. It played to a stroke average of 4.038 and prevented some players from getting off to the customary quick start in their rounds. Ian Poulter was among the victims — he carded a triple-bogey 7 that started a spiral toward a round of 75.
Going low: When Louis Oosthuizen was ripping off his run of seven straight birdies, he wasn’t thinking about shooting 59 — he had 57 in his sights. The 2010 British Open champion once shot 57 while playing in South Africa and thought he could match that score. It did not materialize, but it’s nice to know Oosthuizen has lofty goals.
Injured: Oosthuizen felt a little tug in his right pectoral muscle while hitting a 9-iron on the 15th hole. He felt it again on the final three holes. The South African says he will get treatment but does not think it will be a problem in the final round.
Congratulations: It’s tough to watch someone make seven straight birdies, but Rory McIlroy seemed to enjoy the show. In fact when Oosthuizen finally missed his birdie putt on the 11th green to snap his run of seven in a row, McIlroy greeted him with a high-five and a hug. The two walked off the green arm in arm with huge smiles.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.
- Tiger Woods
- Louis Oosthuizen