He fell 11 shots behind leader Sergio Garcia on Saturday, making a bogey on No. 18 to finish with a 1-over 73 in the third round. But ...
'Hopefully, I can post a great number and have a little hope,' Woods said. 'I need to take care of my own business for anything to happen, but I need conditions to be a little more difficult than they are today. But I need to get the job done myself.'
Instead of a fast start in the third round, Woods dropped a shot with a bogey on the par-3 third. He completed his round with three birdies - none on the back nine - and four bogeys, forced to grind out pars after having trouble holding the firm and fast greens.
He yanked a drive far to the left at No. 16 before recovering with a brilliant pitch to save par, but he couldn't do it again on the last. Another bogey there left him at 215 and dropped him into a tie for 17th.
'I just didn't quite get it done,' Woods said. 'I had my chances, but unfortunately, I didn't capitalize on all my chances. Coming from behind like I was, I needed to capitalize on those things to get momentum on my side, and I just didn't do it.'
Particularly frustrating was the par-3 17th, when he hit what he thought was a perfect shot. Instead, it rolled through the green and nearly went in the water.
'I hit one of my best shots of the day, and it landed about 40 feet short of the hole,' Woods said. 'And the next thing you know, I'm almost in the water. That's just the way it goes.'
Adam Scott finished off his second consecutive 3-under 69 and appeared hopeful it was good enough to get him in contention. A couple of hours later, Sergio Garcia made sure Scott wasn't a factor.
'I think it'll be tough under the pressure of leading or in the last group here,' Scott said when he completed his round. 'You know, there's a lot of trouble to get into. You can get on the wrong side of the hole, and it takes a few to get it done. As long as they're not past 10-under.'
Well, Garcia bounced back from a bogey on No. 12 with three straight birdies to get to 12-under, and that's where he stayed. That leaves Scott 10 shots back heading into Sunday, mostly because of a 76 in the first round.
He still was pleased after another difficult day at Quail Hollow, with the greens firming up and the hole locations tucked precariously close to the edges of the greens.
'It's hard to make a lot of putts out there, because the pins are on such slopey areas,' Scott said. 'Unless you're 3 feet, they're pretty tough to get in the hole. But it was solid, that's what you have to do here. My problem was the first day. That wasn't solid.'
Nick Price predicted before the tournament that 10-under would win, but he didn't account for Garcia's stellar play.
'Sergio's already there,' Price said. 'For me to get there, I've got to shoot 5-under tomorrow, which is a tall order on this golf course.'
Despite playing in twosomes, rounds lasted a little more than five hours Saturday, mostly because of the way the course was set up.
The tees were moved forward 32 yards on No. 8, making the par 4 play only 311 yards. That meant players had to wait for the green to clear before teeing off, and there were as many as five groups waiting. There also was a backup on the par-3 13th through the day, although usually only two groups were there.
Woods was coming off the 12th green, looked at Nick Price and Brandt Jobe still standing on the tee, and sunk his shoulders. He had no choice but to sit on a bench and chat with Jesper Parnevik.
'I guess we need a break because we're playing so fast we can barely keep up,' Woods deadpanned.
Tour officials expected the delay and allowed for each group to take 5 hours, 8 minutes to finish. There could be more waiting on Sunday, as the tee on the 358-yard 14th is expected to be moved up.
'There's a lot of waiting,' Adam Scott said. 'The greens are tough, you know. You wait on the fifth, because it's reachable. You wait on the sixth then, because it's a tough par-3, so then you wait on the seventh. Eight is reachable, so a lot of waiting, and then the 10th is reachable, so it takes about four hours to get those holes in.'
Bill Haas needs to make the most of every start he gets. With his only playing status coming on the developmental Nationwide Tour, the son of Jay Haas has to use sponsor exemptions to get into PGA Tour events.
Bill Haas used his fifth of the season for the Wachovia Championship - leaving him with two more this season - but a rough finish left him with a 2-over 74 that was only good enough for a tie for 43rd. During a stretch of five bogeys in the final six holes, he three-putted three consecutive greens.
'I'm pretty disappointed, I could have done something pretty good today,' Haas said. 'Bogeying five of the last six holes is just ridiculous.'
All the three-putts came from long distance, but he didn't use that as an excuse. To cap off his frustration, he had only an 8-iron into the 18th but pushed it badly in the rough. Haas didn't get up and down, leaving his par putt on the lip.
'I wasn't hitting it very close, but then again, the greens are perfect,' Haas said. 'There's no excuse for three-putting three holes in a row. And then I miss the last green with an 8-iron in my hand. Overall, pretty disappointing.'
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