2018 Masters scores: Tiger Woods fails to impress again with par in Round 3

2018 Masters scores: Tiger Woods fails to impress again with par in Round 3

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods shot an even 72 in Round 3 of the 2018 Masters, staving off what would have been his third consecutive round over par and leaving him 13 shots off the lead at the time he finished. Woods is obviously out of contention at this tournament, but now it looks as if he'll be kept from placing inside the top 10 for just the sixth time as a professional in 19 attempts at Augusta National.

Woods' first hole on Saturday summed up his week. After a 338-yard drive, he botched a 106-yard approach shot, left a wedge short in a bunker and made a bogey. Big Cat has struggled all week with his iron play, which is odd because it had been a strength this season coming into the week (Woods ranked No. 14 on the PGA Tour in strokes gained on approach shots).

Another bogey at No. 2, and things started looking glum for both Woods and Phil Mickelson, who was playing ahead of Tiger and played the first two holes in 4 over. The two golfers, who have a combined seven green jackets, combined to play the first two holes in 6 over. Not a great start to Masters Saturday.

Woods recovered, though, and made birdies at Nos. 6 and 8 before stringing together six consecutive pars before bogeying on 15 and birdying on 16. One of the fun moments of the day came at No. 12, where Woods hit his tee shot in the water at the par 3 in each of the first two rounds. When he found dry land on No. 12, Woods semi-mockingly raised his arms triumphantly as playing Ian Poulter chuckled at him in the background. It wasn't an iconic moment, but it was pretty compelling nonetheless.

Things got crazy for Woods on No. 13 when, for what felt like the 20th time this week, he had to navigate around a clump of trees. Woods hung his drive out to the right and attempted a nearly impossible shot through a tree that somehow ended up over the creek and dry. It nearly reached the green, but Tiger could only manage a par out of it.

We saw a variation of the first hole on the 14th. Woods nuked another drive 323 yards and had just over 140 to the pin. He left himself a 70-foot putt for birdie and made par. On No. 15, Woods had 130 yards on his third shot into a pin he's burned to the ground over the years. He flew the entire green and put himself in a tough spot to get up and down. Another wasted opportunity. This is a poor formula for contending at golf tournaments, and Woods has to be kicking himself for wasting a number of really terrific drives over the last three days.

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Coming home, Woods shot a birdie on 16 as his best drive of the day landed just five feet away from the pin. It was a picturesque shot, the kind of drive that we expect from Tiger on a hole that he's birdied on twice this year but bogeyed in Round 2. Woods managed to save par after an iffy drive on No. 17 left him in the trees once again. He hammered a 315 yard drive far right of the fairway, but a stellar second shot put Woods on the edge of the green. A two-putt later, and Woods saved par once again.

On No. 18, Woods managed to straighten his drive out, leaving himself just under 180 yards from the pin in the middle of the fairway. Once again, however, Woods overshot the green on his second shot. A solid approach left Woods just four feet off of the pin, which he tapped in to make par once again to end a tumultuous day on the course.

It was another lackluster, up-and-down score in a week filled with them. It's frustrating to watch somebody who has been so solid so far in 2018 hit shots we maybe expected from him coming into the year but certainly not coming into this week with all he's proven about his game so far in 2018. Given his body language at times, it's been frustrating for him, too.

Woods will get another tee time on Sunday morning and yet another crack at breaking par for the first time at Augusta National since the third round in 2015. It won't be for anything meaningful, but it will mean something. To him. To the field. To everyone. Tiger on a Sunday at the Masters. It might not be a return to the good ol' days, but it's a far cry from the last few years. And who knows, maybe we'll get a Woods-Mickelson pairing on Sunday to bookend Tuesday's practice round stroll.


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Publish date : 2018-04-07 18:54:51
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