Tiger Tracker: Woods posts 69 at Honda

Tiger Woods during Round 3 of the Honda Classic.

Tiger Woods during Round 3 of the Honda Classic.

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Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Avondale, LA - TPC Louisiana

6:26:12 PM ET. 04/24/2014




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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Tiger Woods says the Champion course at PGA National doesn’t lend itself to aggressive play. “On a golf course like this,” he said, “I feel like I have to be patient. I can’t get out there and get ahead of myself and fire at every flag.”

That may very well be true. Maybe this course doesn’t lend itself to aggressive play. But this week, four players have tied the old course record (64). A left-handed rookie obliterated the mark (61). And Woods - who, in truth, has failed to capitalize on opportunities more than he has been patient - now will enter the final round nine shots leader Rory McIlroy, a position from which Woods will need to be aggressive. Whether he wants to or not.

“It was close to being a good one today,” Woods said Saturday, after a third-round 69 left him at 2-under 208. He missed a short par putt on No. 2 but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 3, 4 and 7. He didn’t make another, despite having five looks inside 20 feet on his next 11 holes. Even worse was that on Nos. 12 and 13, Woods failed to hit the green when he had only 125 yards left to the flag. (He wound up making a deflating bogey on 13, after finding a greenside bunker.)

The reason for his continued struggles with the flat stick? Depends on the day. On Thursday, the greens at PGA National looked faster than they actually were. On Friday, the grain grabbed a few putts, and he and caddie Joe LaCava were fooled by a few double-breakers. But today, it was something new: the wind. “Me and Westy (playing competitor Lee Westwood) were talking,” Woods said, “and it was hard to stay steady and hit the ball on the correct line.”

Ever the optimist, Woods refused to concede that he was out of contention heading into Sunday’s finale. (Tee times have been moved up about three hours in anticipation of afternoon thunderstorms.)

“Anything can happen at this place,” he said.

But here’s something we haven’t yet seen: Woods ditch the patience script. Now, being aggressive is the only way he can remain relevant in his new hometown event.

- Ryan Lavner

• • •

Review Woods' third round, shot by shot, courtesy of our writers on the ground in Palm Beach Gardens.

No. 18, Par 5, 556 yards

Tiger hits a big drive but lands his second shot in a greenside bunker.

His third shot finds the green but he'll have to make a 10-footer if he wants one final birdie.

He misses, finishing with a 69.

Tiger on the day: 1-under 69 (2 under for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course Tom Gillis remains the leader at 9 under as Rory McIlroy followed birdies at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 with back-to-back bogeys. McIlroy is at 8 under, followed by Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose at 7 under.

• • •

No. 17, Par 3, 190 yards

Tiger is safely aboard the 17th green, but a little more than 30 feet from the hole. He lags it to the hole and makes an easy par.

With McIlroy at 10 under, Tiger needs another birdie to end the day.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (2 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 16, Par 4, 434 yards

Tiger's drive lands on the left side of the fairway. From there, he hits the green and will have about 25 feet for birdie.

The putt is too far right from the beginning, and stops right beside the cup.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (2 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 15, Par 3, 179 yards

And here it is: the Bear Trap. Tiger's shot rides a right-to-left wind and flies about 15 feet past the hole. The putt dies at the cup, and slides just right. Another par.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (2 under for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: With three birdies in his first five holes, Rory McIlroy has moved into the solo lead at 10 under.

• • •

No. 14, Par 4, 465 yards

Tiger uses an iron off the tee but hits his second shot about two paces left of the green. It looks as if the bogey at No. 13 really derailed his momentum.

He tries to make up for the second shot with a delicate chip that ends up about 4 feet from the hole. He makes it for par.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (2 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 13, Par 4, 388 yards

After hitting a fairway wood down the middle, Tiger greatly misjudges the distance to the green and finds another bunker. He's about 10 yards short of the green. The wind has begun to gust.

Tiger is lucky this ball didn't plug, but he blasts out to about 10 feet and leaves his par putt on the lip. A bad bogey considering where he was off the tee.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (2 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 12, Par 4, 427 yards

Tiger hits a big driver down the middle, and will have a little over 120 yards left to reach the green.

He misjudges a short iron dead into the wind, and his second shot finds the grass surrounding a bunker short of the green.

Despite an awkward stance, Tiger hits a great pitch to tap-in range and makes the par.

Tiger on the day: 2 under (3 under for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Leaders are teeing off.

• • •

No. 11, Par 4, 450 yards

It's an iron shot – again – off No. 11 tee, and Tiger leaves himself with about a 200-yard approach shot over water.

The wind is swirling, so Tiger plays a low fade and lands it about 20 feet from the hole. His birdie putt was on the wrong line from the beginning, but he taps in for par.

Tiger on the day: 2 under (3 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 10, Par 4, 508 yards

The first hole on the back nine is a long par 4, so Tiger pulls his driver for the second time today and misses the fairway left -- his ball strikes a young woman in the crowd. It's a good bounce, however, and he should be able to reach the green with his second shot.

Tiger overcooks a draw and instead finds a sand trap left of the green. He catches perhaps too much sand and leaves himself about 14 feet for par. He rams it in with authority for the par save.

Tiger on the day: 2 under (3 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 9, Par 4, 421 yards

It's an iron off the tee again for Tiger, and he's in the fairway.

He plays a controlled approach shot from about 160 yards out, and leaves it about 30 feet short of the hole. He leaves his birdie putt about a foot short of the hole and makes par to turn at 2-under 33.

Tiger on the day: 2 under (3 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 8, Par 4, 427 yards

Tiger finds the rough again off the tee with a 3-wood, but this time the miss is to the left.

He backs off his approach shot three times before hitting a low dart to 15 feet. He'll have the benefit of watching how Westwood's putt breaks.

Tiger's putt burns the edge -- a missed opportunity for birdie.

Tiger on the day: 2 under (3 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 7, Par 3, 226 yards

Tiger stuffs it to about 3 feet on this long par 3 and makes the putt for birdie.

Tiger on the day: 2 under (3 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 6, Par 4, 479 yards

Pulls driver for the first time today and misses the fairway to the right, landing in the second cut. That means Tiger still hasn't hit the fairway here this week.

Tiger draws a juicy lie in the rough, and can't advance the ball to the green. He runs his chip shot about 15 feet past the hole, but makes the par putt coming back.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (2 under for the tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Lee Westwood, who is paired with Tiger, also birdied Nos. 3 and 4, and with no bogeys is 2 under on his round. Leaders will tee off in about an hour and a half.

• • •

No. 5, Par 3, 217 yards

Tiger made double bogey on this watery par 3 yesterday. It's playing into the wind today, with the added challenge of a tucked hole location.

Tiger misses the green to the right, but has an easy chip and gets up and down for par.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (2 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 4, Par 4, 376 yards

Another iron from the tee, but with a much better result than in Round 2. Tiger finds the left side of the fairway, and has 117 yards left to the green.

His approach shot leaves him with a 20 footer. Without even consulting LaCava, Tiger rolls it in for another birdie.

Tiger on the day: 1 under (2 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 3, Par 5, 538 yards

Tiger reaches the par 5 in two, just as he did in the second round (he three-putted here Friday). He'll take a drop from a sprinkler head that should leave him on the fringe for his third shot.

A two-putt gives Tiger his first birdie, and moves him back to even par on the day.

Tiger on the day: even (1 under for the tournament)

• • •

No. 2, Par 4, 464 yards

Another iron shot from the tee at No. 2 -- this time Tiger uses a 4-iron and lays well back on the long par 4. With 173 yards to the green, his approach catches the wind and lands in the rough behind the right side of the green. A tricky pitch remains.

Tiger flubs the chip, leaving himself 6 feet short of the hole. The line fools both Tiger and caddie Joe LaCava, who helps with the read. Tiger hammers it through the break and makes bogey.

Tiger on the day: 1 over (even for the tournament)

• • •

No. 1, Par 4, 365 yards

Tiger pulls an iron on the first tee and finds the fairway. His approach carries the flag by about 35 feet. A two-putt gives him a par to start the round.

Tiger on the day: Even (1 under for the tournament)

• • •

Find coverage of Tiger's second round by clicking here.

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