Tiger Woods in contention in low-scoring Honda Classic
Feb 25, 2018, 01:30
He was six shots better over the first two days (138) than the final two (144) at Riviera.
But Woods moved up from T-14 to T-12, and Saturday was another round to build on - even if there is still a good deal to be desired.
But being able to hit more 2-irons and 3-woods off tees while he works out some issues with his driver is a help.
His short game has also been razor sharp, saving par 11 times on the 15 greens he has missed in the first two rounds.
Woods watched Brandt Snedeker nail a 5-iron to a few feet at the 17th, but then the wind backed off. Getting some 15,000 people to quiet down proved almost impossible as Woods tried to figure out what to do. Woods was cruising along until he reached the infamous "Bear Trap".
He followed a birdie on the par-4 fourth with four pars and made the turn after drilling a 24-footer for birdie. Woods drove into a fairway bunker on the third and then laid up and put his third shot in a bunker.
After that mess, Woods drained the putt for a key par - with a fist pump to boot. Simpson is now part of a group one shot back at minus-two with Russell Henley, Rory Sabbatini and Tommy Fleetwood.
Woods hit his shot of the day at the 17 to right his game after the struggles at the 15 and 16.
As he did in round one, Woods was forced to resort to numerous shots to get around the Champions Course, successfully hitting shots left to right and right to left, hitting shots high and low.
"I've made some nice tweaks; I'm hitting the ball flush and I'm really controlling the (ball flight), especially here with the wind blowing this hard".
Woods will play the third round alongside fellow American Jason Dufner and teeing-off at 5.10pm United Kingdom time. He duly holed out from 12ft for a superb birdie. It was tough.it's tough to make putts out there. If it had been hot, this could've been a score in the mid-60s. "Anything under par and day out here is really good".
And after being side-lined in August 2015 ahead of mutlipe back surgeries and not returning to the Tour to January, 2018 there is many already ready to single out Woods' next victory, and should he win again, as one of the sweetest. He played the third round with Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open last month. If on Sunday his ball-striking can stay like it was for most of Round 3 and his putter is hot, you never know.
The PGA Tour'sHonda Classic descended into a war of attrition on day two as strong winds blew across the PGA National course and sent scores ballooning.
Woods could not hide his excitement in getting himself in the weekend hunt, but his expectations remain tempered in this comeback.
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