Tiger overcomes gradual begin, posts even-par 72

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — For an excellent a part of his spherical Saturday, Tiger Woods flirted with the secondary lower on the Gamers Championship, bogeying three of his first eight holes whereas seemingly being misplaced on the greens.

He managed to show round issues over his closing seven holes, making three birdies to salvage an even-par 72 and earn himself one other spherical at TPC-Sawgrass.

“We type of fought again just a little bit,” Woods stated. “I received it again to even par. I assumed that was an excellent objective after being Three over by means of eight and simply fought exhausting. I fought to the very finish and I used to be in a position to put up even par for the day.”

That received Woods to Three-under 213 for the match and safely contained in the quantity wanted to play on Sunday. Each time there are greater than 78 gamers who make the 36-hole lower, the PGA Tour has a secondary lower to the highest 70 gamers and ties. Eighty gamers made it to Saturday. Those that fail to advance are nonetheless credited with a made lower and are paid.

Not making the secondary lower has occurred to Woods simply as soon as beforehand in his profession, on the 2014 Farmers Insurance coverage Open, the place he tied for 80th.

Woods struggled on the greens, giving up almost three strokes to the sphere. He took 31 putts on the entrance aspect alone Saturday and missed birdie putts of 17, 10, 12, 15 and 9 ft. He lastly made his first birdie on the quick par-Four 12th, the place he drove the inexperienced and had a 30-footer for eagle, then two-putted.

He added a birdie on the par-5 16th after which, with a pitching wedge, knocked his strategy to three ft for a birdie on the par-Three 17th — the place he hit two within the water and made 7 on Friday.

“I simply struggled with the inexperienced speeds being a lot slower,” Woods stated. “I used to be just a little stunned they had been that gradual. I in all probability made the error of placing yesterday afternoon just a little bit, they had been dry, crusty and fast. Got here out this morning and we had been stunned at how gradual they had been on the placing inexperienced. So we thought they is perhaps just a little bit sooner on the course. They had been gradual, grain was affecting it just a little bit extra and I struggling hitting the putts exhausting sufficient.”

Woods and enjoying associate Kevin Na did have a little bit of enjoyable on the 17th, the place each knocked their tee photographs near the outlet.

Na has gotten right into a behavior of rapidly snatching the ball out of the outlet on quick putts, and on his Four-footer on the 17th, was transferring after it earlier than it even hit the outlet. Woods, who had a putt from Three ft, tried to imitate the transfer.

“It appeared like he was going to catch it earlier than it received to the outlet,” Woods stated. “I imply, he needed to pull his hand again, gradual it down. And I assumed I will have just a little enjoyable with it, however I had to verify I hit it on line first after which I did no matter I did.”

Na stated he would not do it on function and would not know when he began doing it.

“I am anxious to get it out of the outlet,” he stated. “The ball is afraid of the darkish.”

Each gamers laughed as they walked off the inexperienced.

Cool climate and rain are anticipated for Sunday’s closing spherical, and Woods now has a transparent path to the Masters, the yr’s first main championship, subsequent month.

After the Gamers, he’ll take subsequent week off, play the WGC-Match Play, after which have one other week previous to the Masters.

“I am assured to play three rounds in a pair weeks and in order that’s principally like a match and we’ll see from there,” stated Woods, referring to the round-robin format used on the WGC-Match Play.

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