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Tiger traps

DORAL, Fla. – Tiger Woods spent a decent amount of time Saturday wiping mud and sand from his eyes. Perhaps the 3 inches of rain that washed out the third round officially at 4:20 p.m. Saturday will also help him on that front.

Clarity is currently not in the forecast here in Streakville, where Woods currently finds himself three shots out of normalcy.

At this point, your pick to win the WGC-CA Championship seems as good as any meterologist’s in the Miami area.

Lightning is apparently coming from all angles, and now we must wait at least 25 holes Sunday to see who will finally bottle it and bring it to the winner’s circle.

Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, and anyone else who thinks they have a chance, get your Gatorade containers ready.

Of course, this sudden change in dramatics is brought to you by that man named Woods, who opened his round Saturday with six putts over the first two holes.

That figures to be the only other way to tell someone that Woods three-putted two consecutive holes without that person immediately falling back a step or two.

(That’s three three-putts so far this week, for those keeping score at home.)

Such news was at first unofficial, because Woods was putting from the fringe on the first hole, an area from which putting statistics aren’t logged.

But Woods approved.

“Yeah, to three-putt the first two holes right out of the gate, never a good thing,” said Woods, who opened the third round with a drive that sailed way right but landed in an opening in the trees.

Woods still managed to land his second shot to the par 5 in the fringe, 70 feet from the hole. He left that putt 5 feet short, then lipped out his birdie putt on the right side.

He hadn’t made par on Doral’s 529-yard opening hole since the final round of the 1998 Doral-Ryder Open. He has never made bogey there.

A hole later, he watched his par putt from 4 feet hit the left lip and roll past. He walked to the next hole expressionless.

“He’s hitting it very well, he just didn’t putt like he normally putts ” said Ogilvy, the current leader. “He had a weird three-putt for him I guess on the second, and after that he hit good putt after good putt that didn’t go in.

“It was just one of those stretches that was probably frustrating the hell out of him.”

Woods hit a lot of fairways but missed a lot of birdie putts, mostly below the hole and right. One of those misses came on the par-4 6th, after Woods slammed his approach shot to 14 feet.

Before the ball landed, however, mud flew up into Woods’ eyes. He stood in the fairway, using his fingers as shovels for the next minute or so. Two holes later, Woods stood in a fairway bunker flicking sand out from the same place.

Who set the Tiger traps?

As bad as all this sounds, Woods still played his 11 holes in even par. He stuck his approach on No. 7 to a couple feet and tapped in for his only birdie of the day, and didn’t make another bogey after the three-putt on No. 2.

Yet if today was just another sunny day on South Beach, and a PGA Tour official had asked Woods on the 12th tee if he’d like to carry over his final seven holes to the following day, he probably would have taken it.

Others, maybe not so much.

Ogilvy, who is atop the leaderboard at 14 under, played his 11 holes in 2 under despite a sudden dislike for fairways. He said he is looking forward to working that out, but was also frustrated to be talking to reporters about the holes he hadn’t played yet.

Don’t let Woods’ round throw you off here. This was a good moving day.

“(The wind was) dead still,” Ogilvy said. “I mean we don’t play the golf course dead still very often. It’s quite different actually because you’re normally quite used to having quite a big wind but it was dead still so there was a birdie on every hole.”

Scott rolled in a 16-footer for eagle on the first hole before Woods three-putted, and quickly found himself 4 under through five holes before stalling. He remained 4 under through 11 holes, and is one back of Ogilvy.

Singh made seven birdies, one eagle and one bogey before his round was stopped short on the 17th green, where he has only 7 feet and 3 inches between him and another birdie. That would get him to 12 under for the tournament, only two back of Ogilvy.

Tim Clark made seven birdies and no bogeys through 15 holes. Jim Furyk made 6 birdies and no bogeys through 13. The list goes on.

“Well, it’s going to be a long day and we’re going to all be in the same boat,” said Woods, who is staying this week on his yacht.

When it rains like it did today, that seems like the best place to go.

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