Nothing says more about Tiger Woods’ Saturday at TPC Harding Park than that by No. 15, when he holed a par save from 7 feet, it produced a relieved grin.
A 7-footer for par is not usually cause for celebration for a 15-time major winner, but Woods didn’t have it on the greens in the third round of the PGA Championship. It was a round that included many of the same struggles he experienced in the second round.
The grin only grew on the next hole when Woods punched out from behind a tree, well right of the fairway, and holed his first birdie of the day. Until that hole, he had been in danger of ending an impressive streak. Woods had made at least one birdie (or eagle) in every major championship round since the opening round of the 2010 U.S. Open.
The streak remains intact, though, and Woods ended the day with another round of 2-over 72. It left him at 2 over for the championship.
The round ended any real chance Woods had of claiming his 16th major title this week at Harding Park. By the time Woods was off the course, leader Haotong Li, at 8 under, still had an hour to go until his tee time.
On Saturday, Woods contended with fewer bunkers but missed more tee shots – particularly to the right. It was a mostly clear, albeit cool, day in the San Francisco Bay Area as Woods teed off alongside Keith Mitchell just before lunch. The wind picked up as the round went along.
Woods’ best shot of the day came at the closing hole, when he stuffed a crisp approach to 5 feet for a second and final birdie.
Still, with bogeys at Nos. 8, 11, 12 and 13, Woods had fallen more than 20 spots on the leaderboard by the end of his day.