DUBLIN, Ohio – Tiger Woods retreated to Muirfield Village’s practice putting green in Friday’s twilight searching for answers. For nine holes, it appeared he’d reached a breakthrough.
Woods played Nos. 5-9 in 5 under par, a run that included a 14-footer for eagle at the fifth and a 10-footer for birdie at No. 6. It was a different story on his closing loop, with missed birdie attempts at Nos. 10, 11, 14 and 15 on his way to a 1-over back nine.
“My speed was bad on the last two holes - the last two out of three holes - and I didn't make any,” Woods said.
Although Woods needed 31 putts on Day 3, statistically he was better on the greens, losing 1.42 shots to the field in strokes gained: putting, compared to 3.68 strokes lost on Friday.
Woods said his Friday session on the putting green helped, but he struggled to maintain that consistency and finished with a 68 for a 9 under total, which was four strokes off the lead when he completed his round.
“I was releasing the putter beautifully early. Just getting the putts to turn over. My toe was moving nicely. And just didn't do it at the end,” Woods said.