Woods posts career low round at THE PLAYERS
Stellar 7-under 65 propels him up leaderboard during Round 3 at TPC Stadium Course
May 12, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods nearly holes out at THE PLAYERS
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tiger Woods has posted a career best 7-under 65 at TPC Sawgrass, igniting the crowd early Saturday morning at THE PLAYERS Championship.
Woods – who got it as deep as 8 under through 13 holes – bested the 66s he shot in the third rounds of the 2000 and 2001 PLAYERS.
The 65 is also his lowest round on the PGA TOUR since Round 2 of the 2015 Wyndham Championship when he also shot 65 (Aug. 21, 2015).
Woods' previous best score this season is a 67 during the third round of the Valspar Championship.
It moved the 79-time TOUR winner to 8 under for the tournament and into the top 10, although the majority of the field is yet to play. He remains seven shots back of Webb Simpson’s 36-hole lead.
“I finally got off to a good start. I birdied the first couple of holes and I just kept it rolling from there,” Woods said after a personal-best front nine 30 at TPC Sawgrass.
“It was nice to see a few putts go in. I hit a lot of quality shots and 65 was probably as high as I could have shot today, which was kind of nice.”
His eight birdies were also a career-high tying number for Woods at THE PLAYERS. (2004, Round 3).
Playing partner Mackenzie Hughes admitted to some early nerves after only meeting Woods for the first time on the first tee.
Hughes – the winner of The RSM Classic during the beginning of the 2016-17 season – had tried to work up the courage to meet Woods recently at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard but backed down.
“I was sitting next to him in player locker room, we were both eating lunch and he was 5 feet from me but I had no valid excuse to say, ‘Hey I’m Mackenzie Hughes’ so I just kind of sat there quietly and listened in as a fly on the wall,” Hughes joked.
“It is 90 degrees but I can assure you I had some goosebumps and shivers at times out there when you hear some of the roars and you just realize I’m playing with Tiger Woods.
“Starting out it had that vibe like you were playing for a title, you were playing to win, it just had that feel to it which is crazy at 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning. I wasn’t terrified of the moment but it gets the butterflies going in a good way.”
Hughes admitted to appreciating Woods’ deeds even more after being in “the cauldron” with him.
After almost watching early he then embraced the challenge and tried to beat him, instead settling for a 68.
Three closing birdies on the front nine helped Hughes but he still turned five behind Woods who had six birdies on the front side.
After making nearly everything prior Woods slowed on the final six holes. He missed a mid-range birdie try on the 13th hole and then made bogey after his drive on the 14th found a tough lie in the rough amongst some mounds.
A missed chance from 7 feet on 16 and a couple of routine pars coming in left him to settle for a 65.
“The greens are soft and these guys are going to tear this place apart, there are going to be lot of low scores today and I wouldn't be surprised if somebody went lower than what I did today,” Woods said.
“Eventually I was going to put all the pieces together and today for the most part I did that. I got my playing feels back and it's just a matter of playing and executing and putting the shots together. It was nice, I made some putts today, that was basically the difference.
“I've hit quality irons before and I was able to convert today and got rolling early. I won't be (in the top 10) by end of the day, but it's nice to kind of somewhat be up there. It's definitely gettable. I know there's a lot of pressure coming down the back nine here, but I think these guys, the way they have setup the golf course today, it's set up for these guys to go low.”
Tiger Woods off to a hot start at THE PLAYERS