Tiger Woods has been hitting plenty of fairways all week at the Open; of every player to make the cut he’s currently tied for the lead, finding the short grass 76 percent of the time. But the fate of his red-hot third round hung in the balance as his tee shot on No. 18 flew down the left rough line, threatening the famed Barry Burn.
But Woods’s Bridgestone was determined to stay dry. It came down at the very edge of the burn and then bounced off the edge back into play.
“I didn’t know if I carried it or not. I didn’t know if it was in the hazard or in the rough,” Woods said afterwards. “It was a terrible two-iron.”
Woods eagerly took advantage of the good fortune. Although his lie was too thick to go for the green from 246 yards out, he advanced his ball down the fairway and then skipped a wedge to four feet. He converted that for par, salvaging his round of five-under 66.
The break likely kept him in contention as other players continued Saturday’s birdie barrage, and Woods recognized the magnitude of his finish. “I’d played so well that I didn’t want to end on a bogey there,” he said.