Woods back in Open contention heading into final round
After two rounds where he couldn't quite get on a run, Tiger Woods put it all together on Saturday at Carnoustie to card a 5-under 66.
Woods began the day in a logjam at even par, six shots off the pace. With birdies happening all over a softer and more benign version of Carnoustie, Woods started slow. It took him four holes to make his first birdie. But he found another gear in the middle of his round. A long birdie putt found the cup on the ninth hole and he followed it up with birdies at 10 and 11.
He had a good look at eagle on 14 but settled for a birdie.
That gave Woods a share of the lead for a few holes on the back nine, but he made his only miscue of the day on the par-3 16th hole. Woods' tee shot appears to be on line but drifted right and rolled off the green into a collection area. His putt onto the green came up short and he missed the par attempt.
Woods caught a break on 18. He hit his drive left and it came inches from landing in the burn before settling in the rough. He laid up to 100 yards and hit a deft 56-degree wedge close to clean up his par.
"It was huge," said Woods. "I didn't want to drop two shots coming in. I played so well I didn't want to end on a bogey."
The leaders were still on the front nine when Woods wrapped up his round. In the morning, he saw a lot of players going low, and knew he had to be aggressive. He played six drivers off the tee compared to just three in Round 2. He hit 12 fairways, 14 greens and needed 29 putts.
"I really didn't feel like I really made a bad swing until 18," said Woods. "I really felt like I had control of the golf ball today. And on top of that, I made some longer putts, which was nice."
The 66 was Woods' lowest round in a major since the 2011 Masters. Woods hasn't shot a weekend round in the 60s at The Open since Carnoustie in 2007, when he shot a 69 in the third round and ultimately finished 12th. He's squarely in the mix heading into the final day, but he's not alone.
"We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday," said Woods. "And it's turning out to be that."
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