PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. ' Tiger Woods looked poised to mount a chargeSaturday at the Honda Classic, but he lost momentum on the back nine.
With three birdies over his first seven holes, Woods moved to 3-under overall at PGA National, within five shots of the lead, but he played the back nine in 1 over.
With a 1-under 69, Woods walked off the course tied for 19th and seven shots off the lead. If hes going to win his first PGA Tour event in two-and-a-half years, hell need a strong finish and some help from the leaders.
On a golf course like this, I have to be patient, Woods said. I cant get out there and get ahead of myself and fire at every flag. You never know tomorrow. The finishing holes here, with the wind supposed to switch directions tomorrow, anything can happen at this place. You just need to be around the lead, and, hopefully, tomorrow I can get off to a good start and get myself somewhat up there, and you just never know.
Woods, who hasnt been hitting his driver more than five times in a round here, hit 11 of 14 fairways on Saturday, but he hit just 11 greens in regulation and took 28 putts. He missed greens from point-blank range with wedges on back-to-back holes on the back nine, but he seemed pleased with the direction his game is moving.
It was close to being a good one today, Woods said. I hit it good, I putted good. It was really close to being a really low round today.
Woods said swirling winds, gusting to 25 mph, made the back nine difficult, even for putting. Woods made five putts of 8 feet or more on Saturday, four of them on the front nine.
I thought I putted great today, Woods said. By the time we got to the back nine, it was really whipping. Its hard to stay steady and hit the ball on the correct line.
Woods enjoyed another round with expandedfamily in tow. On Friday, Charlie Axel, Tigers 3-year-old son, watched his papa from the gallery. On Saturday, Sam, Tigers 4-year-old daughter, watched with Tida, Tigers mother.
Thats pretty neat, Woods said.