PGA Championship Round 3: Tiger Woods hole by hole

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Fans photograph <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/pga/players/147/" data-ylk="slk:Tiger Woods">Tiger Woods</a> during the 100th PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. (EFE)
Fans photograph Tiger Woods during the 100th PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. (EFE)

It’s moving day, and Tiger Woods needs to move if he hopes to contend in the 100th PGA Championship. He begins Round 3 at 4-under, six strokes back of Gary Woodland.

Follow along as we track Tiger’s round right here.

Hole 1, Par 4, 425 yards

Tiger needs to get off to a quick start to, maybe, put a little pressure on the top of the leaderboard. And he’s done just that. Fairway hit. Sticks the landing on the approach. Rolled in the 17-footer. Fist pump. Birdie. 5-under. T-12 (5 back).

Hole 2, Par 4, 410 yards

Tiger is on the hunt. Another stinger of a drive right down the middle, this time leads to a short iron that Tiger sticks to within five feet. It’s Business Tiger now. Two holes. Two strokes gained. And the leaders, still on the practice green, know it. Birdie. 6-under. T-9 (4 back).

Hole 3, Par 3, 148 yards

Had his 37-footer for birdie dropped — and it was dead center — Bellerive would have exploded. Alas, the putt came up a few inches short. Par. 6-under. T-9 (4 back).

Hole 4, Par 4, 521 yards

Driver continues to be Tiger’s Achilles’ heel. He drove it in the left rough, then had to muscle an iron out of the thick rough just to get it to the front of the green. Staring a potential bogey in the face, Tiger nearly holed his chip. Par. 6-under. T-9 (4 back).

Hole 5, Par 4, 471 yards

Shirt change! It’s blue now. Let’s see how that affects Tiger’s mojo. As for the hole itself: once again, Tiger goes driver, and once again, he’s wide into some light rough. His approach shot runs a good 40 feet past the hole, and he’s not able to get down in two. Might be time to change that shirt back. Bogey. 5-under. T-14 (5 back).

Hole 6, Par 3, 213 yards

Don’t change that shirt just yet. After a bad bogey at 5, Tiger sticks his tee shot to 11 feet and promptly drains the birdie on the hardest hole on the course. That’s how you bounce back. Birdie. 6-under. T-10 (4 back).

Hole 7, Par 4, 394 yards

He’s throwing darts, now. With the leaders now on the course, and Brooks Koepka (the new leader at 10-under) and Justin Thomas already making moves, it’s imperative Tiger keep on the gas.

And he did just that at 7, throwing his approach to within seven feet. No doubt. Birdie. 7-under. T-6 (3 back).

Hole 8, Par 5, 610 yards

Driver found the rough, forcing Tiger to lay up. But because this has become a dart-throwing contest, he was able to throw his third right at the pin, which he did, and of course it stuck, because these greens are softer than a baby’s bottom. A little under 7 feet for birdie. No problem. Birdie. 8-under. T-3 (2 back).

Hole 9, Par 4, 433 yards

A brilliant iron off the tee sets Woods up for a possible birdie try, but his approach runs a bit too far for a comfortable birdie putt. He brings it home in two to hold serve. He’s now -10 on the front nine and +2 on the back nine, so we’ll have to see whether that holds true today as well. Par. 8-under. T-4 (3 back).

Hole 10, Par 4, 508 yards

The 10th has bedeviled Woods this entire week, and this time around is no exception. His tee shot runs far wide, and his approach leaves him well short of the water-guarded green. He goes for the up-and-down, and he gets it, with a good long 12-footer to save par. He gives a good old-fashioned fist pump, knowing how tough this hole has been for him over the week. Par. 8-under. T-5 (3 back).

Hole 11, Par 4, 355 yards

Call this a missed opportunity. Eleven is a birdie hole. Tiger had a shot, but left his putt for three short. Par. 8-under. T-5 (3 back).

Hole 12, Par 4, 462 yards

Nothing wrong with driver on this one. Positioned his tee shot perfectly, leaving him 160 to the pin. From there, he stuck his approach to 17 feet. Solid … if this were a U.S. Open, where par is a good score. But this isn’t the U.S. Open, and here par barely makes cut. (Literally. The cut line was even par.) So, yeah, another missed opportunity, really. Now he just has to hope Koepka doesn’t birdie 11 and/or 12. Par. 8-under. T-5 (3 back).

Hole 13, Par 3, 180 yards

The wheels aren’t necessarily coming off, they’re just not spinning fast enough. Another solid tee shot, providing another makeable birdie putt (12 feet) and another miss. Par. 8-under. T-6 (4 back). 

Hole 14, Par 4, 410 yards

Par is becoming a problem, mainly because Koepka isn’t making any. He’s converting his birdie opportunities, while Tiger is letting his continue to slip by. Another missed one at 14 — just 8 feet for bird that never had the hole — marks four straight chances missed. Tiger has got an excellent round going — 4 under — but Koepka is just playing better than everyone else right now, and is refusing to give any ground. Par. 8-under. T-6 (5 back).

Hole 15, Par 4, 495 yards

Fairway off the tee, simple 9-iron to the green to … 20 feet. And you can guess what happened next. The par train continues. Par. 8-under. T-5 (5 back).

Hole 16, Par 3, 232 yards

Moments earlier, Matt Wallace aced 16, providing the loudest roar of the day — so eagle is there. Kidding. Anyway, Tiger continued his meh back nine: safe, tidy tee shot to 40 feet. He had his birdie putt dead center, but it slowed just short of the hole, drawing a grimace. Par. 8-under. T-5 (5 back).

Hole 17, Par 5, 550 yards

Birdie is a must here; eagle would be nice, and of course, Tiger gave himself a shot. He found the green in two, drawing a huge roar from the crowd. And if wishes influenced a golf ball, then Tiger’s putt for eagle would have been knocked in before he reached the green. Alas, there was still the business of the 18 footer. He went for it, hammering it right through the break and by the hole. And then missed the short 4-foot comebacker for birdie. Absolutely brutal. Par. 8-under. T-3. (5 back).

Hole 18, Par 4, 457 yards

Still have to be thinking about 17, because everyone else is. From 18 feet for eagle to three putts for par can scramble the mind. How will he respond? Well, with a drive right down the middle, leaving nothing but a pitching wedge to the green. Of course he stuck it, to 15 feet, and of course he juuuuuust missed it. Par. 8-under. (4 back)

Overall analysis: It’s hard to be disappointed with a round of 4-under to put you in a tie for second (for the moment anyway), but Tiger will be. He left no fewer than two strokes out there and could make a solid argument that he could be five — yes FIVE — strokes better than he is. And still he’s in contention.

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