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Tiger Woods’ Putting Woes Continue with 3rd-Round 72 at 2020 PGA Championship

Tiger Woods’ Putting Woes Continue with 3rd-Round 72 at 2020 PGA Championship

Tiger Woods hits from the rough on the seventh hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Tiger Woods had another uneven day at the 2020 PGA Championship, finishing the third round with a 72 to sit at three over par with 18 holes remaining. 

Since opening the tournament with a 68, Woods has struggled to find consistency over the past two days at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. He dropped to even par heading into the weekend after carding a 72 with four bogeys and two birdies. 

Woods got off to a modest start Saturday with seven straight pars. The 44-year-old still wasn’t having much success on the green, as he needed 12 putts on those seven holes and didn’t make a putt longer than 4’11”. 

Here is what Justin Ray wrote for PGAChampionship.com after the second round:

“Tiger Woods struggled with his much-talked-about putter on Friday, ranking 131st in the field in strokes gained putting. After making more than 114 feet worth of putts in round one, Woods made just 48 feet of them on Friday. Still, his second round 72 was enough to get him to the weekend, just his second made cut in this championship since 2014.”

Woods’ new putter was a hot topic coming into the tournament. The initial returns were promising, as he gained 1.25 strokes putting in the first round. 

Andrew Doak @AndrewDoak_WWL

Tiger Woods’ putting is just awful. Got a read from Mitch right before and still missed it. Yikes.

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

Rolls to the back of the green – going to have 60-plus feet here at the par-3 11th hole.

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

Hold on here at 12. So far he’s been…

Right (tee)
Back (approach)
Side (chip)

Got plenty of work left to do for par.

There were some positives for Woods, as he made two birdies late in the round to finish within screaming distance of par. 

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Tiger Woods has made at least one birdie in every round of his career at the PGA Championship.

Now 75 rounds and counting … https://t.co/gcDZngNurd

After his opening-round 68, Woods emphasized the importance of playing on the fairway at this course. 

“This golf course, you have to hit the ball in the fairway,” he told reporters on Thursday. “You get a ball in the rough, into the grain, there’s no chance you can get the ball to the green. I felt like I did a decent job of doing that, and the golf course is only going to get more difficult as the week goes on.”

The past two days have been rough for Woods in a number of areas, not just with the putter. His driving accuracy was a lowly 28.6 percent Saturday, well below the 50.0 percent and 64.3 percent marks he had in the first two rounds. 

Those two things add up to Woods’ 72 on Saturday. 

It’s likely that he is still rounding himself and his game into golf shape after a five-month layoff. He gave himself a warm-up event at the Memorial Tournament three weeks ago. The 15-time major champion finished 40th. 

Woods has played himself out of contention over the previous 36 holes, but he can salvage the tournament and build positive momentum for the U.S. Open next month with a strong finish Sunday.