AUGUST, Ga – Tiger Woods has not yet come to terms with the idea that the green jacket he won 19 months ago will stay at Augusta National when he leaves the pitch on Sunday.
But he was on his mind all week, knowing that as his title defense reached Teachers, the chance the signature item to win this big league can stay in his closet here.
The 72’s yoke in the third round – after playing eight holes to complete the second round on Saturday morning – knocked him out of the race. The four-shot deficit was converted to 11 shots as the five-time Masters champion simply could not do much.
Woods said attending and speaking at the Champions League dinner on Tuesday was an emotional experience for him, probably knowing the difficulty of defending his title this week after a year of volatile performances.
“I have not yet thought about tomorrow,” said Woods, who managed to start the third round with just four shots from the lead. “I was focused on trying to start tomorrow. … We will see how emotional she will be after tomorrow’s round. “
Woods will put the green coat on someone else after another early t-shirt on Sunday.
This did not help him much on Saturday, as the restart of the second round started at 7:30 a.m. in cool, humid conditions. Woods managed a single birdie to finish the second round with 71 and four behind five co-leaders.
But these cool temperatures and a quick break between rounds were not supported by Woods. Now 3½ years removed from spinal fusion surgery, Woods sometimes has back stiffness problems and was evident during the third round, as he closed several times after t-shirts and carefully bent down to lift his t-shirt or make a note. the grass ball.
“It’s just part of the deal,” Woods said. “If you have a lot of days like this, I’m going to be a little sore, which I definitely am. … I can walk all day. The hard part bends and turns. with my back issues and I guess it will always be. “
This is only the ninth Woods 2020 tournament and the seventh since the coronavirus pandemic closed the sport for three months. In this period from June, Woods’ best finish is a draw for 37th place in the PGA Championship. He has not been challenged in any final round and has seen his world ranking from sixth to 33rd.
With laps 68-71-72, Woods is at 211, 5 below the equivalent and 11 shots behind the leader of the third round Dustin Johnson. Woods is a draw for 20th place.