FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — The concern for Tiger Woods entering Saturday’s third round dealt mainly with Woods’ ailing lower back. Heading into the final round, the concern will likely be with Woods’ putting.
While his back held up without any problems, Woods three-putted four times en route to a 1-over 72. It was not a good performance on the greens by any means, and it offset some solid shots off the tee and from the fairway – Tiger found his first eight fairways and had a few good birdie chances that he failed to capitalize on.
“It’s unbelievable how slippery [the green] were,” Woods said. “It was totally different today. . . . I didn’t putt the way I needed to putt.”
He will now need a big round Sunday to have any chance of catching the leader. Tiger, at 4 under, sat six back of leader Sergio Garcia at the end of his round on Saturday.
Here’s a shot-by-shot review of Woods’ third round at Bethpage Black:
• • •
No. 18, par 4, 411 yards
One more for Woods, who has not been sharp today. His back hasn’t been a problem, but his putting has. He’ll need to fix that before tomorrow to have any chance of making a run at the leaders – even though it might be too late with Sergio Garcia now six shots ahead.
• Off the tee: Nice drive from Tiger, who puts this one right down the middle with an iron.
• Approach shot: Tiger hits this one well and ends up about 23 feet from the cup.
• On the green: There have been many who have run this putt by the hole, but Tiger doesn’t. It doesn’t go in, missing just left, but Tiger has an easy tap-in for par to end an up-and-down round.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 18 holes (4 under for the tournament)
• • •
No. 17, par 3, 207 yards
Believe it or not, while Tiger isn’t making a move today, he’s still five back as the course is getting tougher as the afternoon wears on. He’ll still need to close strong and hope for a big day tomorrow.
• Off the tee: Tiger goes with 7-iron and puts it on line. The ball hits just before the hole and rolls about 25 feet past just onto the back fringe.
• Around the green: Nice effort from Woods, who was trying for the first birdie of the day at this hole – that’s how tough it’s been. He puts good speed on it, but just misses right.
• On the green: After a good putt from the fringe, Tiger taps in for par.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 17 holes (4 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: After a birdie at No. 13 to move into the lead at 10 under, Sergio Garcia stuck his tee shot to about 5 feet at the par-3 14th. He would miss the birdie putt, but remain a stroke ahead of Nick Watney.
• • •
No. 16, par 4, 490 yards
Tiger just can’t get anything going. Every time he birdies a hole, he gives one right back. He has three holes left to try and get back to within striking distance of the lead.
• Off the tee: Tiger tries to cut this one with his driver, only it fails to cut and he finds the left rough. The ball looks buried, too.
• Approach shot: Tiger has another bad lie and this time, he misses short and right, finding a greenside bunker.
• Around the green: He’s in a greenside bunker, but it’s a big one. He’s still 65 yards out. He sends his third shot onto the green and to about 4 feet. Good save out of the sand there.
• On the green: These haven’t been automatic, but Tiger makes it this time for par.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 16 holes (4 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Nick Watney has two straight bogeys to drop to 9 under and into a tie with Sergio Garcia for the lead. They are through 12 holes. Also, Dustin Johnson closed his round with a double bogey to fall back to 3 under.
• • •
No. 15, par 4, 478 yards
What a momentum killer as Tiger three-putts for the fourth time this round. Keep in mind that he had zero three-putts in the first two rounds.
• Off the tee: Tiger misses this one, sending it way left into the gallery. His right hand came off the club after impact.
• Approach shot: Tiger’s lie is awful. You can’t even see the ball. Yet, he tries to muscle it onto the green and just misses left, getting a great bounce. Great shot from that lie – and his back held up, too.
• Around the green: Tiger hits a great chip from 28 yards, putting it on line and leaving it about 8 feet short. He had to respect the speed there.
• On the green: He’s had trouble with these putts today and Tiger misses his par save. It skirts by just right of the hole as Tiger’s knees buckle. He settles for bogey.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 15 holes (4 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Nick Watney bogeys No. 11 to fall to 10 under, just one shot ahead of Sergio Garcia, who just birdied No. 11. Bob Estes has moved up to 8 under with a birdie at No. 12.
• • •
No. 14, par 3, 161 yards
Tiger has birdied this hole twice already and is looking to go 3 for 3.
• Off the tee: Another decent iron shot for Tiger, who lands it about 15 feet from the cup.
• On the green: Looking for a second straight birdie, Tiger leaves this one high and then misses his par putt low. That’s four three-putts now.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 14 holes (5 under for the tournament)
• • •
No. 13, par 5, 608 yards
Tiger is making some big par saves so far today, but has yet to really take off. And with Watney pulling away, Tiger needs to put something together quick starting with this par 5.
• Off the tee: Tiger just misses the fairway, driving it 303 yards into the left intermediate rough.
• Second shot: Tiger is still 300-plus yards from the hole, so he’ll lay up. He needs 210 to carry some fairway bunkers and he does so, finding the fairway 100 yards from the pin.
• Third shot: Tiger goes right at the hole and it’s an excellent shot. He’s 2 feet from the hole. The crowd really liked that one.
• On the green: It’s an easy birdie putt and Tiger has no problem with it.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 13 holes (6 under for the tournament)
• • •
No. 12, par 4, 501 yards
That last par save might have been more crucial than the long birdie he made on No. 8.
• Off the tee: Tiger goes 3-wood and easily clears the fairway bunker, hitting it 316 yards. He’s safely in the fairway after cutting the dogleg left nicely.
• Approach shot: Tiger is just on the right side of the fairway and from about 180 yards out, he hits it over the green – but just barely. He’ll have about an 8-yard chip coming up.
• Around the green: Not a good lie for Tiger, who chips it 7 feet past the hole.
• On the green: Tiger makes another nice par save. The putter is looking a little better.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 12 holes (5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rickie Fowler is now T-3 with Kevin Stadler after making birdie at No. 11. He now has four birdies on the round and is four back of Watney (11 under).
• • •
No. 11, par 4, 435 yards
In case you’re wondering, Tiger hasn’t shown any discomfort from the back pain that hindered him Friday. With that said, he’s not playing as well as he did Friday, either, thanks to his shakiness on the greens.
• Off the tee: Tiger misses his first fairway of the day, sending his drive left and into some thick rough just shy of a fairway bunker.
• Approach shot: Tiger makes the smart play and pitches it out into the fairway.
• Third shot: Tiger leaves himself about 85 yards to the hole and sticks his third shot to 7 feet.
• On the green: Needing this par putt after having to lay up on his approach, Tiger sinks it.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 11 holes (5 under for the tournament)
• • •
No. 10, par 4, 502 yards
It’s been an up-and-down round so far for Tiger, who closes the front nine with three birdies, three bogeys, a trio of three-putts and seven fairways hit.
• Off the tee: Tiger chooses driver and pounds it nearly 350 yards down the left side of the fairway. That one was just crushed.
• Approach shot: Tiger gets his approach on the green and to about 24 feet.
• On the green: Tiger just misses short and a tad left. Not a great putt, but at least he didn’t run this one by. He taps in for par.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 10 holes (5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Nick Watney almost made a mess at No. 7, but saved par to remain at 10 under, one shot ahead of Sergio Garcia, who made birdie at the hole after just missing an eagle putt.
• • •
No. 9, par 4, 460 yards
If that last putt doesn’t get Woods fired up then there’s something wrong. There’s no doubt it has, though, as Woods prepares to close out his front nine.
• Off the tee: Tiger has to be loving his tee shots so far today as he’s a perfect 7 of 7 hitting fairways today. This last one goes 313 yards and cuts the left dogleg nicely.
• Approach shot: With 150 yards left, Tiger finds the green, but he’s about 32 feet short of the hole.
• On the green: After an excellent putt at No. 8, Tiger’s birdie chance at No. 9 isn’t nearly as good. Tiger sends this one 10 feet past, leaving a difficult comeback par, which he leaves right. Make that three three-putts for bogey now for Woods on the day.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 9 holes (5 under for the tournament)
• • •
No. 8, par 3, 210 yards
After a near eagle at No. 7, Tiger is back to even for the round. The back nine has played easier, so if Tiger can close these next two holes strong, he’ll have a good chance at making a charge coming in.
• Off the tee: This is a big green and Tiger finds the dead center of it with his tee shot. Unfortunately, he’s about 50 feet or so from the hole. The putter will be tested yet again.
• On the green: Now that’s what Tiger needs from his putter. Facing a long, uphill putt, Tiger drains it for birdie. He’s stoked after that one and so is the crowd. Huge roar from the gallery.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 8 holes (6 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Even with another birdie, Tiger isn’t gaining ground on leader Nick Watney, who birdied No. 5, his third birdie of the day, to move to 11 under.
• • •
No. 7, par 5, 553 yards
Tiger gives one right back at No. 6 with another three-putt for bogey. The putter isn’t looking good today and is really hurting Woods, who has been perfect finding fairways so far.
• Off the tee: Another drive, another fairway hit for Tiger, who hits his 3-wood about 305 yards.
• Second shot: With about 225 yards left to the hole, Tiger lands just shy of the green. He’ll have a good chance with a front pin location at chipping close to set up a possible birdie.
• Third shot: Tiger is literally just shy of the green and he grabs the putter. He gives it a nice stroke to within 2 feet to set up a short birdie putt.
• On the green: Tiger converts the short putt for a much-needed birdie.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 7 holes (5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Nick Watney and Sergio Garcia each birdied No. 4 with Watney moving to 10 under and Sergio to 9 under. Also, Tiger’s playing competitor Gary Christian is 4 over on the day and has dropped back to 1 under.
• • •
No. 6, par 4, 408 yards
Is Tiger finally starting to get rolling? After a couple rough holes, Tiger really needed that last birdie.
• Off the tee: Tiger hits an iron 222 yards to the middle of the fairway.
• Approach shot: Tiger avoids the left bunker guarding the pin and lands safely on the right side of the green. Still, he’ll have a lengthy birdie putt coming up.
• On the green: It’s a 40 footer for birdie and Tiger sends it 7 feet past and to the left of the hole. He then misses his par putt and ends up with another three-putt for bogey.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 6 holes (4 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rickie Fowler started off poorly with a bogey at No. 1. But Rickie has two straight birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 to move to 6 under.
• • •
No. 5, par 4, 478 yards
Tiger got into some trouble on that last hole, but was able to recover to save par. Now he needs to get something going with a birdie here at No. 5. He birdied the hole yesterday.
• Off the tee: Tiger finds a fourth straight fairway to begin the day, hitting his drive 318 yards down the middle.
• Approach shot: About 160 yards out, Tiger sticks his approach to about 12 feet. He’ll have a good look at birdie here.
• On the green: Tiger gives this one a good roll straight into the hole for birdie.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 5 holes (5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Nick Watney and Sergio Garcia both started out with a birdie on their first hole to move to 9 under, but Garcia just bogeyed No. 3 to drop back to 8 under. That makes Watney the solo leader at the moment.
• • •
No. 4, par 5, 517 yards
That one hurt. Tiger’s bogey drops him to four shots behind the leaders, Nick Watney and Sergio Garcia, who just teed off. Now comes the first par 5 of the day, so Tiger will look to take advantage. He’s birdied it in each of his two previous rounds.
• Off the tee: Some crowd noise on adjacent holes causes Tiger to step away from his tee shot once. He then steps back and smashes his driver 318 yards down the fairway.
• Second shot: Tiger has about 189 yards left to the pin and he fires it way over the green – about 45 yards past the cup.
• Third shot: With his path to the green blocked by some trees, Tiger chips it out to the left. Another poor shot as he’s still 48 yards or so away and facing another chip.
• Around the green: Tiger regains his composure and chips it to within 3 feet.
• On the green: After a nice little chip, Tiger makes the short putt for par. Big save.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 4 holes (4 under for the tournament)
• • •
No. 3, par 3, 230 yards
Steady start for Tiger. Sure, he would’ve liked to convert one of those birdie putts, but he’s hitting good shots, and more importantly, hitting them without pain – or so it seems by looking at him.
• Off the tee: Tiger chooses 6-iron from 199 yards out on what is playing as the toughest hole on the course. He hits past the hole and ends up in the middle of the massive green some 46 feet from the hole.
• On the green: Tiger puts an easy stroke on this downhill putt, but it’s a little too easy as he leaves it about 6 feet short. He then misses his par putt right and makes his first three-putt of the tournament.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over thru 3 holes (4 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Brandt Snedeker is 3 under through six holes today and has climbed to 6 under – an impressive performance so far for the Ryder Cup hopeful.
• • •
No. 2, par 4, 389 yards
Disappointing start for Tiger, who missed out on a great birdie chance at No. 1. He looks healthy, though, and his drive and approach shots were both solid.
• Off the tee: Tiger opts for a 3-iron and finds another fairway. No need to hit the driver here as the fairway is only about 22 yards wide.
• Approach shot: With about 130 yards to go, Tiger hits wedge again, but this time leaves it really short. It’s on the green, but Tiger will have about 34 feet left to the cup.
• On the green: Facing a long birdie putt, Tiger puts good speed on the ball, but just misses left. He settles for a short par.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 2 holes (5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: The leaders have yet to tee off, but Kevin Stadler i looking to join them. He just moved to 7 under, one shot back, after sticking his tee shot at the par-3 14th to about 4 feet and converting the birdie. Also, Rickie Fowler opened his round with a bogey at No. 1, falling back to 4 under.
• • •
No. 1, par 4, 430 yards
Tiger made two trips to the physical therapy trailer this morning, but he looks good to go walking to the first tee. He’s wearing a lime green top, gray pants, white shoes and a white hat. He’ll be playing with Gary Christian for the first time.
• Off the tee: Tiger gets off to a good start, smashing his drive 321 yards into the fairway. He played the right dogleg perfectly. Back looks good, too.
• Approach shot: Tiger has about 94 yards to the hole and with a wedge, he sticks it to about 7 feet.
• On the green: Tiger misreads the putt as it stays left of the hole the entire way. He taps in for par. Good news is he looked more flexible as he bent down to pick the ball up out of the hole.
• TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru one hole (5 under for the tournament)
• Elsewhere on the course: Kevin Stadler is making a charge up the leaderboard. He’s 5 under through 12 holes and has worked his way up to T-5 at 6 under. Also, Phil Mickelson carded a 4-under 67 after entering the day at even.
• • •
Thursday’s and Friday’s coverage
Check out our first- and second-round coverage of the Barclays.
• • •
Tracker: Tiger Woods makes a move despite back injury
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy went different directions Friday. Woods moved up despite fighting a lower back injury while McIlroy dropped back. Story.
• • •
Sergio Garcia will skip Deutsche Bank Championship
Sergio Garcia, who holds a share of the lead at The Barclays after a 3-under 68, said Friday that he’ll skip the Deutsche Bank Championship. Story.
• • •
Tiger Woods’ back causes him serious pain in second round
A bad night’s sleep left him with pain in his lower back on Friday, but Tiger Woods still managed a 2-under 69 to remain in contention at The Barclays. Story.
• • •
Third-round tee times at Barclays
A look at the tee times and pairings for the third round at the Barclays Championship at Bethpage Black, the first of four FedEx Cup Playoffs events. Tee times.
• • •
Hunter Mahan, Davis Love don’t stick around after missing cut
Ryder Cup hopeful Hunter Mahan and United States captain Davis Love didn’t stick around long after missing the cut at the Barclays on Friday. Notes.
• • •
Padraig Harrington leads early assault on Barclays
PGA Tour players who had the morning draw in the opening FedEx Cup playoff tournament made that infamous sign at Bethpage Black totally unnecessary. Story.
• • •
Tiger Tracker: Round 1
Tiger Woods had the upper hand on Thursday, firing a 3-under 68 behind four birdies and a single bogey, while Rory McIlroy blitzed his first nine with four birdies, but a pair of bogeys on the incoming nine pushed him to a 2-under 69. Story.
• • •
Tiger Woods no lock for Player of the Year
Tiger Woods leads the PGA Tour in victories (three), scoring average (68.91) and FedEx Cup points, but he’s hardly a lock for Player of the Year entering the playoffs. Story.
• • •
Tiger vs. Rory takes centerstage at Barclays
It doesn’t seem that long ago when Tiger Woods was the top seed going into the playoffs. Now the focus returns to him. Story.
• • •
Notebook: Euros stick it out for FedEx Cup playoffs
While the European Tour hosts the Johnnie Walker, its stars have stayed in the U.S. to play The Barclays. Story.