The ups and downs of a world No 1

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DUBLIN, Ohio – Tiger Woods was stalking a birdie putt at the 13th green when the horn sounded to suspend play during the third round.

But at least he could take a break in a better mood than he'd been about an hour earlier, after a horrendous drive at the par-4 10th.

Woods blocked his driver so far right, into the backyard of a house adjoining the fairway, that he didn't even look for his ball.

A double bogey left him temporarily 12 strokes from the lead, a margin even he probably can't recover from.

After that, however, it was pretty stuff. He got green high in two shots at the par-5 11th and made birdie, after watching fellow competitor Ricky Barnes hole out from 108 yards for eagle.

At the par-3 12th, it was so quiet on the tee that the only sound came from some birds. Speaking of which, Woods picked up another birdie after his tee shot hung in the air for seven seconds before landing and sticking 6 feet from the pin on the plasticine greens.

He earned the honor on the 13th tee, but had to stop in the middle of his backswing when a spectator at the nearby 12th green chuckled a little too heartily.

Interestingly, only two print journalists and one still photographer followed Woods. Not to say his star is waning, but that's unusual.