“Never give up.”
Those were the words of a hobbled Tiger Woods at the podium, shortly after his 78, +6 performance during Round 3 of the 2022 Masters Tournament on Saturday. Words we’ve all heard before, yet ones that have taken on a whole new meaning this weekend.
There’s no way to sugarcoat how Woods fared in the chilly conditions of Augusta National Golf Club Saturday afternoon. Entering the day +1 and inside the Top-20, Woods’ outside shot to win his sixth green jacket took a plunge.
The 78 was Woods’ highest score in 93 career rounds at Augusta National. Regarded as one of the finest putters in PGA Tour history, Woods three-putted five holes Saturday — the most in a round over the duration of his career.
If it looked like putting practice for those watching, that’s because it was, according to Woods.
“It was like putting practice,” Woods said. “I hit like 1,000 putts out there.”
There were more hobbles than the previous two days. More grimaces and yes, more fatigue. It was all there for Woods, who flashed moments of resilience, but unraveled in the final four holes. Woods finished par, bogey, bogey, double bogey, looking like a man who simply needed to rest. Quite simply, Woods was running on fumes.
And just as we said after Friday’s round, that’s okay. The man who has personified the phrase “never give up,” did just that by merely showing up. But that wasn’t it. He finished a complete round under par. While younger stars such as Jordan Spieth, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka were catching the first flight out of the Peach State, Woods was preparing himself for a weekend at Augusta National after making the cut.
For more perspective, the World’s No. 2 golfer, Jon Rahm, enters Sunday +7, set to play alongside Woods in one of the most intriguing pairings of the day.
So, no. This journey won’t end with a celebration on No. 18 with thousands of patrons cheering on the 46-year-old. But rather with Woods courageously making his way up to the green at No. 18, wearing the famous Sunday red, pulling off the impossible yet again.
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