Tiger Tracker: Round 3

Tiger Woods lines up a putt during the third round of the Frys.com Open at CordeValle.

Tiger Woods lines up a putt during the third round of the Frys.com Open at CordeValle.

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12:12:01 AM ET. 04/20/2014




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SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive round in the 60s -- the first time he's done that since January -- but it still wasn't enough to keep pace with the leaders at the Frys.com Open.

Winless on any tour in nearly two years, Woods pulled within three shots of the lead at one point Saturday before settling for a 3-under 68 at CordeValle.

"The golf course could have been had today," Woods lamented afterward.

At 4-under 209, Woods is nine shots back of leader Briny Baird.

"I keep giving myself looks, I feel good over putts," Woods said. "I've obviously got to go low tomorrow."

Here is a hole-by-hole, shot-by-shot breakdown of his third round:

Hole 9, Par 5, 555 yards

Reachable par 5 for only the longest hitters, and Tiger takes 3-wood off the tee for the second consecutive day. Once again, he rips a 5-wood into the middle of the green and two-putts from 30 feet for a closing birdie.

3 under for the day; 4 under par total

Hole 8, Par 4, 478 yards

After that big save, Tiger stripes a 3-wood down the fairway. From 192 yards, Woods carves a 6-iron to about 20 feet. Misses the birdie putt and taps in for par. Needs to birdie the last hole, a par 5, to stay in touch with the leaders.

2 under for the day; 3 under par total

Hole 7, Par 3, 173 yards

Really poor tee shot here with a 7-iron, tugging it into the native grass long and left of the green. Horrid lie, too, and Tiger chops down and shoots the ball some 30 yards back over the green. His pitch runs off the green, to the back fringe, but Tiger holes the 15-footer for a good bogey.

2 under for the day; 3 under par total

Hole 6, Par 4, 480 yards

Tiger nearly carries his tee shot over the massive bunker down the right side, but his ball bounced off the front lip and kicked back into the trap. From a severe upslope, Tiger hits a 6-iron onto the front portion of the green, leaving a long birdie try. Good two-putt for par, but he's running out of holes and the leader now at 10 under.

3 under for the day; 4 under par total

Hole 5, Par 4, 454 yards

Tiger finally finds the fairway, hitting a gentle draw with a 3-wood. He fans his approach 25 feet right of the flag, a disappointing shot with a short iron, and Woods settles for par.

3 under for the day; 4 under par total

Hole 4, Par 4, 418 yards

Narrow driving hole here, and Tiger slings his tee shot down the left side, into the first cut. He nearly carried his approach onto the top level, but his ball hit into the ridge and spun down the slope, leaving a difficult two-putt for par.

3 under for the day; 4 under par total

Hole 3, Par 3, 230 yards

A poor tee shot on this long par 3, and Tiger draws a buried lie in the greenside bunker. He leaves his second shot in the trap, but is able to get up-and-down for bogey, ending his streak of 19 consecutive holes without a dropped shot.

3 under for the day; 4 under par total

Hole 2, Par 4, 434 yards

Tiger pulls his tee shot way left on No. 2, near the cart path, but he has only 139 yards left. He drew a decent lie in the rough, and he sticks it to 6 feet. Rolls in another birdie, his second straight, and he's now within three shots of the lead.

4 under for the day; 5 under par total

Hole 1, Par 4, 422 yards

Little bit of a wait on the first tee for Tiger, as the lead group of Paul Casey-Ernie Els-Bud Cauley gets under way. Tiger hit an ugly snipe-hook here on Friday -- a drive that went only 160 yards and left him in a dangerous spot -- and he finds the first cut of rough this time. No problem: He still drains a 8 1/2-foot birdie putt to move to 4 under.

3 under for the day; 4 under par total

Hole 18, Par 4, 425 yards

This is a tricky tee shot, as Tiger showed Friday, when he pulled his tee shot into a hazard that bisects the fairway. Despite struggling off the tee in the third round, Woods finds the fairway and sticks his approach to 8 feet. His birdie bid slides by on the low side. Tap-in par.

2 under for the day; 3 under par total

Hole 17, Par 4, 358 yards

The tee is moved up on the picturesque par 4, tempting players to try to carry the water and reach the green with their tee shot. Tiger drove into trouble left -- he's hit only 2 of 6 fairways thus far -- but he pitched on and had a 25-foot attempt for birdie. He left it an inch short, however, tapping in for par.

2 under for the day; 3 under par total

Hole 16, Par 3, 210 yards

Slowly moving back into contention, Tiger pulled his approach into a shaved area left of the green. But he's able to get up-and-down for par to get the momentum going.

2 under for the day; 3 under par total

Hole 15, Par 5, 568 yards

Tiger pounds a 306-yard drive on this reachable par 5, and has only 211 yards left to the flag. His lengthy eagle bid didn't fall, but Woods tapped in for birdie to move to 2 under for the day, 3 under for the tournament, and only five back of the leader.

2 under for the day; 3 under par total

Hole 14, Par 4, 495 yards

Strong par 4 here -- it's the hardest hole at CordeValle, playing nearly three-tenths of a stroke over par -- but this is where Tiger began his run of three consecutive birdies on Friday. This time, Tiger misses in the left rough off the tee but is still able to make par.

1 under for the day; 2 under par total

Hole 13, Par 4, 407 yards

Tiger finds the fairway after a 274-yard drive. For the third time in four holes, he has an approach with a wedge. So far, at least, that hasn't translated to a birdie. That streak continued at the 13th, too, where Tiger can't make birdie despite having just 121 yards for his second shot.

1 under for the day; 2 under par total

Hole 12, Par 5, 605 yards

Big par 5 here, and a good chance for Tiger to pick up another birdie if he can find the fairway off the tee. He can't, pulling his drive into the left rough. Now he'll have to lay up, with more than 300 yards left to the flag. With 109 yards left for his third shot, Tiger is unable to get up-and-down for birdie, two-putting from 37 feet, and settles for par.

1 under for the day; 2 under par total

Hole 11, Par 3, 236 yards

Tiger stuffed it here Friday, but he'll settle for a 32-foot birdie attempt. He sinks it for birdie. Guess the changes to his putter (lead tape) and posture were all he needed.

1 under for the day; 2 under par total

Hole 10, Par 4, 425 yards

Some tee-time shuffling has Tiger going off first on No. 10. He hit driver into the right rough, but was able to find the green with a wedge from 111 yards. He can't convert the 23-foot birdie putt, but taps in for a routine par to start.

Even for the day; 1 under par total

• • • 

Did you know?

• In 2011, Tiger has played in only eight tournaments prior to the Frys.com Open, earning $629,863 (more than half of which came from his T-4 finish at the Masters).

• Tiger's low round for 2011 is a 66 at both the WGC-Cadillac and his second-round 66 at the Masters. Check out his photo gallery from his career at the Masters.

• Tiger's first-round, 2-over 73 on Thursday wasn't surprising in 2011 terms, as he has seven over-par rounds for the year. (He has played 24 rounds this season)

• For the year, Tiger is only 8-under-par.

• While 2011 is a smaller sample size, his performance on par 3s is better this year than in 2010 (3rd in birdie percentage at 18.18 percent in 2011; 11.63 percent and 157th in 2010), but has dropped off on his par-5 performance year-over-year (66th in birdie percentage at 43.42 percent; 32nd in birdie percentage at 45 percent in 2010).

• Tiger has, by far, earned the most money on the PGA Tour in his career, making an eye-opening $94,787,167.

• Tiger is 11-1 in his career in PGA Tour playoffs.

• In 2011, Tiger is well off-the-pace with driving accuracy, hitting the fairway only 52.23 percent of the time, compared to the Tour average of 60.72 percent.

• Since his second-place finish at the TOUR Championship in 2009, Tiger has finished no better than T-4 (the Masters twice and the 2010 U.S. Open).

• Tiger will next play in the Australian Open, followed by being a member of the U.S. Presidents Cup squad. He is 18-11-1 in eight previous appearances at the Presidents Cup. Check out full profiles of the American team here.

•••

Have you seen this?

We spent a full day with Tiger a few weeks ago as he filmed segments for the upcoming 2013 version of his EA Sports game. Check out our video, where he talks about how the game can change "real" golf. Also, check out our story about the day and some eye-opening stories that Tiger revealed during our session.

•••

Tiger Coverage

• Tiger Woods struggled on the greens in shooting 2-over 73 at the Frys.com Open in his first Tour event in two months. What's next? Some flat-stick tinkering with lead tape, perhaps. Jeff Rude opines from California...

Caddie Joe LaCava says it was a 'no-brainer' to team up with Tiger Woods

Our Jeff Rude sat down with Tiger Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, to talk about Tiger's new endorsement deal with Rolex and his client's improved marketability.

• Tiger Woods says he has 'turned the corner' on this comeback. We will see this week, says Jeff Rude.

Tiger Woods signs his first endorsement in two years, re-joining Rolex, who worked with Woods early in his career.

Rocco Mediate says that Tiger Woods will return to the top of the golf world.

Maginnes on Tap: There are plenty of famous opinions - Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Johnny Miller and Greg Norman - about where Tiger is headed. But, really, they only have educated guesses.

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