Tiger Woods gets in the hunt despite his putting problems

Calvin Saunders
August 13, 2018

There was defending champion Justin Thomas making an early charge, announcing in his final round he wasn't going to give away this title without a fight. It's all about what's going on between the ropes and the ears. "For sure, it was the craziest round I think he's ever seen".

Of course, we've all been there, save the part about playing in a major and actually being good enough to warrant being ticked off at missing a fairway.

In only his fourth start of the year and less than six months on from acknowledging he may never play again, Woods thrilled spectators in Florida by surging into contention at the Valspar Championship.

Only a three-putt bogey at the fifth hole halted his progress, though he put the setback quickly behind him to birdie the next three holes. "I was feeling like I'm in the tournament; certainly it has been a while since I've really been feeling that".

"I feel like I played well today", said Woods, who only returned to competitive golf in November after undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April past year.

Not by bouncing back from a 74 to make the cut on the number.

And then Charl Schwartzel made it 16 players with his eight-birdie round of 63. "This is the first real "Tiger effect" I guess you could say".

But then the golfing gods gifted this marathon Saturday out of left field and left us all with a Sunday at colorless and faceless Bellerive that could be the most memorable golf event of the year, and of many years to come.

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Woodland and Kisner played in the same group, and they offered a great example that Bellerive is accommodating to just about any game. Kern was just one of three players who made it through his round without a bogey, joining Daniel Berger (66) and Jon Rahm (66).

Outside of a third-place finish at the Masters, the former world No. 1 has lost his mojo for much of the season, potentially leading to the moment of frustration.

It looks like we're all going to have a hell of a lot of fun finding out. Woodland missed the ninth green to the right and popped up his chip out of the deep rough, leaving himself a 12-footer that he left short.

He put a attractive swing on it, ending with a pose that would make a flawless photo in a book on golf fundamentals on the page showing what a finish is supposed to look like.

I asked Woodland if he might have needed one more club for his second shot.

Koepka has made note a few times this week that despite winning back-to-back U.S. Opens, he has flown under the radar.

But Tiger's putter? It brought more moans than cheers from the fans, and more frustration than joy to Woods. "With a bit of ease, a bit of grace, bit of flow and rhythm", he said. "It's actually pretty windy today and I'm staying in the shade as best as I can". "I've been so in the zone, you don't know where you are".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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