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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > PGA Tour > Players Championship > Round 3
 

PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP RELATED STORIES





Tiger Woods battles way to 73

Tiger Woods battled to a one-over-par 73 in tough conditions at the Players Championship in Saturday's third round.

The world number one, five off the pace at the start of the day, rattled up four birdies and five bogeys on a blustery Stadium Course to finish at two-under 214.

Club selection was difficult in swirling winds at the TPC at Sawgrass and virtually every time Woods picked up a shot, he gave it back at the next hole.

"It was a lot harder today, the wind was blowing and swirling in the trees," the 30-year-old American told reporters after ending the round seven strokes behind leader Stephen Ames of Canada.

"On top of that, the greens are really inconsistent out there because the low spots are soft and the high spots are really firm. It depends where you land it."

Woods, who has won three times in six tournaments this year, believes he has a chance of clinching a second Players title.

"Without a doubt," said the 2001 champion, who had considered pulling out of the tournament earlier in the week because of his father's failing health.

The 74-year-old Earl Woods has been battling prostate cancer since 1998.

"Maybe I can sneak in there," Woods junior added. "But a lot depends on the course conditions tomorrow.

"I need it to blow like this tomorrow and hopefully I can play a great round of golf."

Woods made a stumbling start with a bogey at the par-four first but recovered with a birdie at the par-four fifth where he chipped into the hole from just off the front of the green.

He was unfortunate, though, to drop at the par-four sixth.

He struck a powerful drive which trickled into the left rough and, after backing off his wedge approach a couple of times as the winds shifted, struck his second shot through the back of the green.

From above the hole, his chip rolled 12 feet past the pin and he was unable to make the putt back to save par.

At the par-four seventh, the 10-times major winner sank a 25-footer for birdie but bogeyed the par-five ninth after finding the front left greenside bunker with his second shot.

Unable to go for the green with his third because of overhanging trees, he had to play sideways on to the fairway from where he failed to get up and down for a par five.

Out in one-over 37, Woods shifted up a gear with consecutive birdies on 11 and 12.

Once again, though, he faltered. He missed a seven-footer to bogey the par-four 13th and also dropped shot on 15 where he was bunkered off the tee and failed to reach the green in two.

"If you miss fairways here, you're going to make bogeys," Woods said. "The rough is six or eight inches (high) in spots. It's brutal."

The U.S. Masters and British Open champion parred the last three holes to finish seven strokes adrift of the total posted later in the day by Ames.

 




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