Tiger Tracker: Shot-by-shot recap of Tiger Woods' third-round 66

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Tiger Tracker: Shot-by-shot recap of Tiger Woods' third-round 66

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Tiger Tracker: Shot-by-shot recap of Tiger Woods' third-round 66

Was that the charge you were looking for, Tiger fans?

Tiger Woods birdied six of his first 14 holes Saturday at Carnoustie to rocket from six back into a share of the lead. Of course, that was before the lead groups could really sink their teeth into a more friendly course.

A late bogey put one tiny black on his round, but it was still a stellar 5-under 66 that made sure he will have a chance going into Sunday.

Here’s a look back at Woods’ amazing Saturday, shot by shot, at Carnoustie:

Hole No. 18: Par 4, 510 yards

OFF THE TEE (11:56 a.m. ET): If Tiger goes on to contend or win tomorrow, this is the break he will look back at. This was a pull-hook with a driving iron, and it was heading right for the burn. Somehow, it lands inches right of the burn and kicks RIGHT and ends up in rough. That’s still no cinch, but way better than being in the water. Huge break.

SECOND SHOT (11:58 a.m. ET): This was a tough lie from 246 yards with a burn short of the green, so Tiger smartly lays this up. He wedges out to inside 100 yards of the green down the fairway. Smart play, but this is a really important up and down to get.

THIRD SHOT (12:02 p.m. ET): From about 100 yards, Tiger hits a beauty. He controls this well and it stops no more than 4 feet away. This should be a huge par save at the last.

ON THE GREEN (12:08 p.m. ET): A fantastic par here at the last. Tiger maybe could’ve gotten this to be a 64 or 65 late, but we’re nitpicking. This 66 puts him right in the hunt at the moment (he’s two back currently), and that break at 18 could be the luck he needed to potentially win this championship.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5-under 66 (5 under overall, T-5)

Hole No. 17: Par 4, 443 yards

OFF THE TEE (11:42 a.m. ET): An iron and this one gets a twirl from Tiger. Beautiful one right down the middle.

APPROACH SHOT (11:45 a.m. ET): That’s a 4-iron from 193 yards and this is pretty. It lands maybe 5 feet from the pin, and runs out to about 20 feet beyond the hole. A solid birdie look from there.

ON THE GREEN (11:50 a.m. ET): A little too high on that putt and it just misses right. That’s a tap-in par. That bogey at 16 does loom large. Every stroke matters here. If Tiger can somehow birdie 18 for a 65, that really puts him in a good spot heading into Sunday. A par and a 66 would be just fine. A bogey or worse would put a black mark on a hot round.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under thru 17 (5 under overall, T-5)

Hole No. 16: Par 3, 248 yards

OFF THE TEE (11:31 a.m. ET): A solid shot by Tiger that bounces up and almost finished 20 feet from the pin atop a slope, but the ball just catches the slope and rolls down and right off the green. Still, he’s maybe 35 feet away in very light rough. Not a tough up and down.

AROUND THE GREEN (11:36 a.m. ET): This was not Tiger’s best. He putts this and it gets slowed up too much up that ridge and finishes 6 feet short of the cup. This is a big par putt upcoming.

ON THE GREEN (11:39 a.m. ET): And that is a bad bogey. He misses that putt to the right, and that’s the momentum killer he’s seen in recent hot rounds. Kisner birdies well behind, and now Tiger is two back.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under thru 16 (5 under overall, T-5)

Hole No. 15: Par 4, 470 yards

OFF THE TEE (11:16 a.m. ET): An iron that beautifully finishes down the left side of the fairway. Everyone is pumped, but these final four holes are tough. And there are several players around the lead who have a ton of holes to really make this lead a lot lower. So Tiger can’t play in fear right now.

APPROACH SHOT (11:22 a.m. ET): This is a freakin’ clinic. He launches a 7-iron from 209 yards perfectly 15 feet right under the flag. Could barely have dropped that in better. Right now, that birdie putt would give him the outright lead.

ON THE GREEN (11:26 a.m. ET): He did not hit that firm enough, and that one finishes just below the hole. It’s a tap-in par. Still tied for the lead.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 6 under thru 15 (6 under overall, T-1)

Hole No. 14: Par 5, 521 yards

OFF THE TEE (10:59 a.m. ET): A driver here for Tiger and this is a nice high fade. The ball trickles into the very light right rough. That will be no problem and he can absolutely go for this in two, maybe with a mid-iron.

APPROACH SHOT (11:07 a.m. ET): A 6-iron from 217 yards … and this isn’t spectacular but it’s a nice solid shot that finishes 35 feet right and short of the cup. That eagle putt would give him the outright lead at the moment.

ON THE GREEN (11:13 a.m. ET): That is a great effort that just misses left and rolls a foot past. Tiger taps in for birdie, and oh my goodness … (*deep breath*) TIGER WOODS IS TIED FOR THE LEAD!!

TIGER ON THE DAY: 6 under thru 14 (6 under overall, T-1)

Hole No. 13: Par 3, 176 yards

OFF THE TEE (10:51 a.m. ET): May’ve been in between clubs, so Tiger plays this safe. Good execution, as he finishes pin-high maybe 20 feet right of the hole. Not bad at all.

ON THE GREEN (10:56 a.m. ET): INCHES from tying the lead. Tiger hit a great putt but it just drizzles over the left edge and trickles by. Maybe the slightest misread and you can tell Tiger liked it, as he slumps down after that near-miss. Still an easy par, though.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under thru 13 (5 under overall, T-5)

Hole No. 12: Par 4, 500 yards

OFF THE TEE (10:37 a.m. ET): That’s an iron off the tee, and this is perfect down the left side of the fairway. Not a short approach upcoming, but he’s in the fairway.

APPROACH SHOT (10:43 a.m. ET): This was from 251 yards and Tiger didn’t love it, but it finishes up OK. Lands on a downslope short of the green and bounds all the way beyond. He’s in very light rough, maybe 40 feet from the pin just past the green. He can putt that, not a tough up and down.

AROUND THE GREEN (10:46 a.m. ET): He indeed putts this one, and this is great touch. Finishes less than 2 feet short of the hole. Should be a tap-in par.

ON THE GREEN (10:48 a.m. ET): Yes, a nice par. This is the hardest hole on the course, so that’ll do. But in these last six, Tiger still needs to be thinking birdies. He may be one back right now, but 5 under may be five or more shots back by day’s end.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under thru 12 (5 under overall, T-3)

Hole No. 11: Par 4, 386 yards

OFF THE TEE (10:24 a.m. ET): Another aggressive driver here, and he goes after this one! It’s a great result too, as this ball finishes just left of the green. That will leave a 30-yard eagle chip from fairway with plenty of green to work with.

AROUND THE GREEN (10:32 a.m. ET): Tiger decides to putt this and this pretty nicely judged. This is within 4 feet short of the hole. That’s what is left for three straight birdies. If he makes, he’s within one.

ON THE GREEN (10:34 a.m. ET): YES. Tiger Woods is ONE back.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under thru 11 (5 under overall, T-3)

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 457 yards

OFF THE TEE (10:13 a.m. ET): Another driver, and this is smoked down the right-center of the fairway. Tiger looks good with the big stick today.

APPROACH SHOT (10:17 a.m. ET): OH. YES. Tiger absolutely freaking stuffs it with a 9-iron from 140 yards. He lands it just below the pin, it hops forward and stops a foot left of the cup. Yes, we’ll have a tap-in birdie. That’ll move him to 4 under.

ON THE GREEN (10:20 a.m. ET): A formality for birdie. Tiger Woods is two back.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 under thru 10 (4 under overall, T-7)

Hole No. 9: Par 4, 486 yards

OFF THE TEE (9:57 a.m. ET): Driver for Tiger, and he liked it but it does drift left. That cleared the bunkers but appeared to find deep rough beyond on the left. The good news is he’s well down there, so he’ll be fine barring a brutal lie.

APPROACH SHOT (10:04 a.m. ET): The lie was OK and Tiger gets this one out just fine from 170 yards. A good shot that lands 60 feet short of the pin and runs out a bit, but not as much as you would expect. Still, leaves him a solid 35-40 feet for birdie.

ON THE GREEN (10:08 a.m. ET): WOW! Tiger races this one in for a birdie. Probably goes at least 5 feet by if it misses, but who cares. That birdie could be huge. He’s out in 3-under 33 and now within three.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under thru 9 (3 under overall, T-14)

Hole No. 8: Par 3, 176 yards

OFF THE TEE (9:50 a.m. ET): That was going right at the pin, but lands short of the green into an upslope. The ball hits that and falls back maybe 10 feet. That leaves Tiger just off and below the green, probably 30 feet from the pin. Not the simplest one to get down in two, but this will more likely than not be par.

AROUND THE GREEN (9:53 a.m. ET): A great putt from Tiger down there, as this one is right on line but stops about 6 inches before the cup. A little more speed and it would’ve been a great birdie.

ON THE GREEN (9:54 a.m. ET): He taps in for par. Tiger is off to a nice start, but he’s definitely got to keep the birdies coming.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 8 (2 under overall, T-21)

Hole No. 7: Par 4, 398 yards

OFF THE TEE (9:38 a.m. ET): An iron again off the tee, and this is pretty. The ball lands in the center and bounds forward some 40 yards and finishes in the right-center. Ideal.

APPROACH SHOT (9:42 a.m. ET): A 9-iron from 167 yards, and this is a touch right. But that’s pin-high, 15 feet from the pin. That’ll leave a solid birdie look to move to 3 under.

ON THE GREEN (9:47 a.m. ET): That was a left-to-right swinger and Tiger always had that out to the left. The ball finishes about a foot left and long, and he taps in for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 7 (2 under overall, T-21)

Hole No. 6: Par 5, 594 yards

OFF THE TEE (9:18 a.m. ET): A driver from Tiger and this is perfect. Starts this left and plays a sizable cut that just scurries left of a right fairway bunker and finishes well down there on the extreme right side of the fairway. This could be a nice chance to really jump start his round.

APPROACH SHOT (9:27 a.m. ET): A 5-iron from 250 yards, and well Tiger is on the green but he is far away. This pin is 50 yards from the front of the green and Tiger is no more than 10-15 from the front. So this will be a putt of roughly 100 feet for eagle over at least one ridge.

ON THE GREEN (9:35 a.m. ET): Good stuff. Not a terrible first putt as Tiger leaves it 6 feet below the hole and then he coaxes in the remainder. A nice two-putt birdie and Tiger is off to the start he needed, and he’s just four back.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under thru 6 (2 under overall, T-21)

Hole No. 5: Par 4, 412 yards

OFF THE TEE (9:04 a.m. ET): Iron off the tee and this is nice and solid down the left side of the fairway. The pin is left, so the angle isn’t great, but overall that is solid.

APPROACH SHOT (9:09 a.m. ET): That’s solid if unspectacular. Tiger tries to draw one in from 191 yards but hangs it out a bit. The ball lands and finishes about 30 feet right and below the hole. Should be a two-putt par.

ON THE GREEN (9:14 a.m. ET): That was actually 42 feet and just a mediocre putt. Misses well right and hits it too hard. He leaves himself maybe 3 feet for par, which he does clean up.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 5 (1 under overall, T-28)

Hole No. 4: Par 4, 409 yards

OFF THE TEE (8:53 a.m. ET): That’s 3-wood for Tiger and he likes it. Looks like that may’ve found the right side of the fairway, which obviously is good position. If not, he’s harmlessly in the rough. Already seems like Tiger is playing a little more aggressive off the tee. No surprise from a master course strategist who likely knows there’s a lot of birdies out there today.

APPROACH SHOT (8:57 a.m. ET): It was in the fairway, and he had 114 yards left. This is a pretty approach here that sees the ball land 20 feet below the hole, hit a downslope, bound forward, stop and spin a little right. The ball ends up no more than 6-7 feet right of the cup. This is a really good look that isn’t a must-make, but we’re starting to get there.

ON THE GREEN (9:02 a.m. ET): Boom. Tiger rolls that right in for a birdie. He needed that. Now we see if he can build off that. He’s five back.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under thru 4 (1 under overall, T-24)

Hole No. 3: Par 4, 355 yards

OFF THE TEE (8:41 a.m. ET): That was a higher iron off the tee for Tiger, as you have to play short of bunkers if you’re laying up. Anyway, this one is nice and solid. It’s in the middle of the fairway.

APPROACH SHOT (8:45 a.m. ET): A 9-iron from 165 yards, and Tiger maybe needed a touch more club. This ball lands about 40 feet short of the pin and hops a little forward and stops. That leaves him 30 feet over a slope for birdie.

ON THE GREEN (8:50 a.m. ET): Man that was close. Tiger had to play a few feet of right-to-left break over that swale and he almost jarred it. That ball broke right toward the hole but ran just by over the right edge. Went maybe 18 inches past the cup. A touch less speed and that was in. Great putt, but another par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 3 (Even overall, T-40)

Hole No. 2: Par 4, 449 yards

OFF THE TEE (8:29 a.m. ET): The first driver today, and Tiger roasts a perfect fade here. This is ideal down the right-center of the fairway. The first test on that club is passed.

APPROACH SHOT (8:33 a.m. ET): A touch right with a pitching wedge from 119 yards, but only a touch. This one lands 10-12 feet right of the pin and stops there. That will be a nice look for an early birdie.

ON THE GREEN (8:37 a.m. ET): Nope. Looked like he hit a good putt, but he over-read the right-to-left break and this just misses off the right edge. A disappointing par. He must take advantage of opportunities like that today.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 2 (Even overall, T-39)

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 380 yards

OFF THE TEE (8:15 a.m. ET): Tiger takes iron off this opening tee and this one’s just fine. A tiny bit right, and the ball trickles into the rough. But it’s the very light stuff, so he’s good.

APPROACH SHOT (8:20 a.m. ET): This is a dead pull with a 9-iron from 148 yards, and Tiger misses the green long and left. Just not a good shot at all, but that shouldn’t be too tough an up and down.

AROUND THE GREEN (8:24 a.m. ET): Tiger had a bit of a sticky lie in the rough beyond the green, and he predictably leaves this a bit short. A good 10-15 feet short of the cup. He’ll have that for par.

ON THE GREEN (8:26 a.m. ET): Big! Tiger walks this one in for an important opening par. That would’ve been a huge buzzkill opening bogey. Great save.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even thru 1 (Even overall, T-38)

Pre-round

Tiger tees off at 8:15 a.m. ET. As USA Today’s Steve DiMeglio notes, Woods probably needs something low today to have a chance heading into Sunday.

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