Though his final score might not show it, Tiger Woods played one of the best rounds of his latest comeback Saturday in the third round of the Honda Classic.
Woods appeared in control of his entire game, consistently hitting fairways and greens in regulation throughout the day on his way to a one-under 69 that could have been much better.
Tiger began his round with seven-straight pars, most of which were routine. He hit the first three greens in regulation, all of which resulted in tap-in pars.
He was forced to scramble for the first time on the par-4 4th hole when his tee shot ended up in a left fairway bunker and his approach rolled over the green. But Tiger was able to get up-and-down to remain at one over for the tournament.
He hit a nice tee shot on the par-3 5th, only to just miss his first birdie of the day. The difficult par-4 6th hole followed, but Woods did not seem intimated, putting together his most routine par of the day. He split the fairway, knocked the approach to 17 feet, and tapped in for par after the birdie putt burned the edge of the cup.
It wasn't until the 8th hole that the 79-time PGA Tour winner finally cashed in. His tee shot left him in the center of the fairway, 140 yards from the hole on the short par-4. He pured a wedge with his approach, sticking it less than six feet away. When the birdie putt dropped Woods moved to one under on the day, even par for the tournament, and just three shots off the lead.
On the final hole of the front, Tiger kept his driver in the bag again and hit another fairway before sticking his approach to 14 feet. He was unable to convert the birdie this time, recording his eighth par of the day.
After two near birdies at 10 and 11, Woods looked ready to drop his first shot of the day when his drive on 12 left him with a terrible lie. He was forced to layup and go for the green with his third shot. But just when it looked like the round would make a turn for the worse, Woods dropped a 20-footer—his longest of the day—to save par.
Another long roll would follow at 13, but this time for birdie, moving Woods to one under for the tournament and four shots off the lead at that point.
A poor tee shot at the par-3 15th left Tiger with an extremely difficult up and down from the right side of the green. He almost pulled off a miracle chip with his second, but the ball got caught in the fringe, leading to his first bogey of the round.
Another bogey awaited at the par-3 17th thanks to a missed green, but a birdie on the par-5 18th landed him back in red numbers.
Though Woods has impressed so far at PGA National, with the leaders increasing their leads in the third round it would take a near miracle for Tiger to capture his 80th Tour win on Sunday.