It all looked so promising for so long, but Tiger Woods shot about the most deflating 1-under 70 that has ever been shot in the third round of the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship. Woods is now he’s too far back of leader Dustin Johnson to have any inkling of hope on Sunday. Here’s a detailed look at his roller coaster of a round on Saturday.
Front nine (1-under 34): Woods got it going early with a 3-3 start to get to 7 under for the week and within four (!) of Dustin Johnson’s lead. He went from looking like he was all the way out of it on Thursday to T3 on his front nine on Saturday with 27 plus holes to play. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t stick. Woods made bogey at Nos. 3 and 8 and played the front nine in a modest 1-under 34.
Back nine (even-par 36): Two birdies on his first four holes, and Woods was back in it. Then came the 15th. Tiger hit a 325-yard drive on the easiest hole on the course (the field average on Saturday was about 4.5 on the par 5). Then he blocked his second into a bunker where he pitched out to 25 feet. You’re thinking par at worst from there, so what he did he do? He four-putted from 25 feet. It was — if this is even possible — uglier than it sounds. Then he three-putted the next and that was it. A 3-3 finish bookended the round nicely, but the damage had been done.
Golf is hard.
Double bogey for Tiger Woods. pic.twitter.com/ZN3Lz1U6mQ
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 23, 2019
What went well: Woods hit the ball quite well and is fifth in the field in approach shots for the week. Even though his distances have been a little bit off, he’s still been all over the hole for the most part.
What went poorly: After finishing first in the field in putting on Friday, Woods couldn’t crack the top 60 on Saturday. He lost three (!) strokes alone on the 15th and 16th holes with those seven putts from a combined 62 feet. It was not a very Tiger-like moment, and it cost him any chance at winning this tournament.
Tiger Woods: 1st four-putt in a non-major @PGATOUR event since 2010 at Quail Hollow. Only his 3rd four-putt in a PGA Tour event in the last 13 years.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) February 23, 2019
Stat of the day: This has very little to do with Tiger’s week in Mexico (although it’s not unrelated), but this graphic made me laugh out loud.
Where he stands: After meandering his way all the way up to the top three on the leaderboard, Woods fell to T9 by the time he finished. That’s not the real problem, though. The real problem is that with Johnson galloping around at 15 under at the time Woods finished, he’ll need both an historic collapse from D.J. and an historic comeback of his own to even sniff the title on Sunday.
The bigger picture: The putting gaffes will conceal the reality that he hasn’t been very good off the tee so far this week. Here’s where Woods stands in the first three rounds off the tee.
- Round 1: 71st
- Round 2: 46th
- Round 3: 55th
There were no huge mistakes on Saturday like there was on Thursday afternoon, but it’s something Woods will have to clean up if he wants to contend with the thoroughbreds who are dominating these tournaments right now.