ATLANTA – Tiger Woods spent the first two days of the Tour Championship hitting it well, but befuddled with the flatstick in his hands. Well, wouldn’t you know it – he started putting better during Saturday’s third round, but his swing eluded him.
Woods posted a benign 1-under 69 – his best score of the week so far – that included just two birdies and a single bogey.
“I didn't hit it very good today,” he said afterward. “I hit everything to the right or flipped it left, but I putted better. As I said yesterday, that was the difference. I hit the best the first day and made nothing and putted better the last two days.”
As if to prove his point, Woods carded his first birdie of the day on the 14th hole, leaving his approach short of the green, then chipping in while keeping his putter in the bag.
If nothing else, it allowed him to throw some banter back at playing partner Jason Dufner.
“Duf was giving me a pretty good earful going down 13 and chipped it in,” he explained. “So I was able to fire right back at him that I wasn't shut out.”
Woods’ under par round came one day after he described himself as “tired” following opening scores of 73-71. When asked to explain why on Saturday, he talked about the grind of the late-summer schedule.
“Well, we've played a lot of golf,” he said. “It's been a lot for a long period of time here. I normally don't play that much. There's a reason why, so that I'm rested. I can do my preparation, and I can be ready to play on all 72 holes.
“We're asking a lot for the guys to play from basically British Open on. Some guys have obligations to play in Canada the following week, and they get into Bridgestone, the PGA, and the playoffs. … So it's a lot.”
With Henrik Stenson seemingly running away with the tournament, Woods still has a chance to finish second in the FedEx Cup, but maintained that such a result wouldn’t provide any additional motivation.
“The goal is to go out and shoot a low round tomorrow and see where the chips fall. I mean, my responsibility is to go out there and shoot a low one and see what happens.”