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QUICK TAKE: Woods Fires 65: ‘Put All The Pieces Together’

Tiger Woods (Photo credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA Today Sports)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – Just when it began to feel as if Tiger Woods’ successful return to the PGA Tour had come slightly off the boil – his performances in the Masters and the Wells Fargo Championship were underwhelming – Saturday happened at the Players Championship.

After sweating out the cutline late Friday – Woods made it on the number thanks to a couple of late finishers who saved the weekend for him, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth – Woods owned the place Saturday morning, shooting a third-round 65 that included eight birdies in his first 12 holes.


“Eventually I was going to put all the pieces together and today for the most part I did that,” Woods said after moving up 60 places on the leaderboard from the time he started until the time he finished.

Woods shot 6-under par 30 on his opening nine Saturday, making birdies on his first two holes to light the fuse. He made it look easy, hitting fairways then leaving himself makeable birdie putts which he converted.

It sounds simple but it hadn’t been the first two days, when Woods had to grind to make the cut.

“I finally got off to a good start,” Woods said. “I birdied the first couple of holes and I just kept it rolling from there. I hit a lot of good shots today. It was nice to see a few putts go in. I hit a lot of, overall, the whole day, a lot of quality shots and 65 was probably as high as I could have shot today, which was kind of nice.”

The only negative?

Being 8-under through 12 and finishing with a 7-under par 65. Woods’ momentum stalled when his tee shot at the difficult par-4 14th left him in a bad lie, leading to his only bogey of the day. He also failed to birdie the par-5 16th hole which would have given him the chance to equal the course record of 63 with a birdie over the last two holes.

“But I’ll take it,” Woods said.

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