Tiger Tracker: Deep Fryed


SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Tiger Woods shot 73-68-68 in the first three rounds of the Frys.com Open. He sits well off the pace in his first ever Fall Series appearance. NBCSports.com writer Ryan Ballengee is at CordeValle and tracked Tiger's third round.

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6:18 p.m. ET: Tiger seems to have the par-5 18th down to an assembly line-style approach. He split the fairway with a 3-wood, hit a 5-wood to the center of the green and made a two-putt birdie. His round ends at 3-under 68 for the second straight day, going 34-34 again. Woods is unlikely to get closer to the lead compared to where he began the day. In fact, despite modest signs of improvement over Friday, he has gotten further away from the lead after each round. (Overall: 4 under thru 18)

5:49 p.m. ET: After the bogey at the seventh, a boring par at the eighth was in order. Fairway, green, easy two-putt par. Woods has one final crack to improve at the par-5 finisher. (Overall: 3 under thru 17)

5:31 p.m. ET: Distance control has been an issue for Woods on a quartet of occasions today. His tee shot at the par-3 seventh was the most egregious on the day. Woods was in wisps and reeds behind the green and tried to make a hero par with a bunker-style shot. He caught too much ball and it soared 25 yards past the green. The comeback effort ran off behind the pin. Somewhat despondent looking, he made the bogey from the fringe. At least it goes down as a zero putts. (Overall: 3 under thru 16)

5:12 p.m. ET: Woods flared his tee shot right for just the second time today and went into the fairway bunker with an awkward stance. A late left twist had Woods dancing, but with a tough putt. Par at 6. (Overall: 4 under thru 15)

5:00 p.m. ET: Pace was an issue yesterday for Woods as his group was on the clock and had a hole open in front of them. On the back nine, the leading trio in front of them has held them up on every shot. For three fast players, rhythm has to be an issue. (Overall: 4 under thru 14)

4:52 p.m. ET: Woods' move has come to a grinding halt. He laid up at the fifth, as has been custom, and hit it to 25 feet. For the first time all week, Joe LaCava helped Tiger read the putt. It didn't drop, so it was a par for Woods and bad news for LaCava: his Rangers lost their second consecutive overtime game. Par at 5. (Overall: 4 under thru 14)

4:32 p.m. ET: Woods' game is showing signs of slipping. He missed his tee shot at No. 4 (left, of course) and didn't hit a very crisp approach or first putt. Lackluster par at 4. (Overall: 4 under thru 13)

4:31 p.m. ET: If there was one hole to derail the Woods rally, the par-3 third was it. For the second time this week, Woods pulled it left. Bunkered, he took two to get out and made bogey. He grimaced to himself as he left the hole. (Overall: 4 under thru 12)

4:04 p.m. ET: The fine-tuning Woods is doing has the birdie signal in clear now. Despite a second straight drive left – this more severe than the last – Woods stuck it closer than at No. 1. He drained a slick one for birdie as he gets closer to Casey. He seems to thrive on the quickest putts at CordeValle. (Overall: 5 under thru 11)

3:54 p.m. ET: After making the turn at 2 under Saturday, Woods narrowly missed the fairway on No. 1, his tenth hole on the day. He followed that with an outstanding up-and-down to get to 3 under on the day. Birdie at No. 1. (Overall: 4 under thru 10)

3:32 p.m. ET: The benefit of being the first group out on a split tee weekend round is twofold: a fast round and being able to observe the final group in front of you. Woods and company now wait for Paul Casey, Ernie Els and rookie Bud Cauley to tee off. (Overall: 2 under thru 9)

3:23 p.m. ET: On the par-4 18th, Woods hit the tee shot he meant to hit yesterday. He hit an exceptional approach – his best of the day – but could not cash in from six feet. Woods makes the turn at 2 under, and nearly in under two hours. Par at 18. (Overall: 2 under thru 9)

3:08 p.m. ET: With the tee at the par-4 17th moved up to 290 yards today, the crowd at the beer-for-birdies hope was delighted to see Woods. He disappointed, however, pulling his drive left into some of the deepest turf on the course. He stabbed out to give a birdie try, but his putt was an inch shy. Woods dropped the club and looked around the hole in disbelief. Meanwhile, Oosthuizen three-jacked from eight feet to deny half-off libations to the crowd. (Overall: 2 under thru 8)

2:53 p.m. ET: Woods' tugged his tee shot at the shortened par-3 16th, leaving himself an easy chip of a dozen yards. Woods was disappointed when it lipped out, staring at the ground, but tapped in for par. (Overall: 2 under thru 7)

2:47 p.m. ET: Woods played the par-5 15th as efficiently as any hole today. With the tees moved up and left, Woods hit the right side of the fairway, hit the green with a mid-iron and made an easy birdie after not scaring the hole for three. (Overall: 2 under thru 6)

2:28 p.m. ET: Tiger is playing consistently inconsistent. He went in the left rough off the tee at the par-4 14th. He hit onto the green with his second shot and Woods made a routine par. (Overall: 1 under thru 5)

2:13 p.m. ET: Woods hit his first fairway of the day at the par-4 13th, but Woods hit his approach much too far, setting up a two-putt par. (Overall: 1 under thru 4)

1:59 p.m. ET: For the third straight day, Woods landed his tee ball at the par-5 12th in the same patch of rough on the left. For the second time in three cracks, Woods' approach to the green was repelled by the ridge bisecting the hole. Despite the poor effort, Woods nearly sank the birdie putt. Par at 12. (Overall: 1 under thru 3)

1:45 p.m. ET: After Tiger hit his tee shot to the par-3 11th hole, he looked down immediately, unhappy with the swing. But his ball found the green and Woods sank a 32-footer for birdie. It is his longest putt made this week by seven feet. (Overall: 1 under thru 2)

1:28 p.m. ET: Perhaps reflective of the rushed turnover from range to tee, Woods played a rather lackluster first hole. It was a par but lacked refinement – missed fairway, poor wedge and didn't come close to the hole from 18 feet. Par at one. (Overall: E thru 1)

1:10 p.m. ET: Tiger Woods is grouped with Louis Oosthuizen for the third time this week and Matt Bettencourt and tees off at 1:15p.m. ET. Meanwhile, tee times are still not well circulated. Adam Hadwin's trainer Scott Rodgers approached me for his guy's tee time.