Tiger Woods was unimpressed with his third round display despite carding a two-under-par 70 at the Farmers Insurance Open before revealing his “feels are all off”.
Woods survived the cut courtesy of a final-hole birdie in his second round but his struggles off the tee have been a prominent feature in his game this week, and he found only three of 14 fairways on Saturday.
The 14-time major champion was able to improve to three under overall, though, as he showed his much-vaunted short game had not diminished despite a 12-month injury absence, holing some crucial putts under pressure.
It was not enough to satisfy Woods, who said on Sky Sports when assessing his round: “It was gross.
“(I was) fighting and grinding. I tried as hard as I possibly could out there, I didn’t have much but I fought and put up a score and made some putts.”
Tiger Woods waits to hit on the 11th hole of the South Course. Photo: AP Photo/Gregory Bull
Woods registered four birdies and two bogeys to leave himself in a tie for 39th place ahead of his final round in his PGA Tour comeback tournament at Torrey Pines, eight shots adrift of leader Alex Noren.
But the 42-year-old – who returned at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas last month, an unofficial PGA event – admitted he is finding it difficult out on the course.
He added: “My feels are all off, they’re all different now. That’s something I’m going to have to get used to.
“Playing at home was one thing but I feel different than I did in the Bahamas, I don’t know why that is, maybe it’s just because it was hot and humid and this is a little bit different.”
Sweden’s Noren, a nine-time winner on the European Tour but yet to break his duck on the PGA equivalent, heads into the final round with a one-shot lead after a three-under 69.
Ryan Palmer sits on 10 under after a disappointing 73 on Saturday while fellow American JB Holmes has catapulted himself up the leaderboard after a round of 65 to sit just two off the lead.
Compatriot Michael Kim joins him on nine under, while England’s Justin Rose and former world number one Jason Day are two of seven players one shot further back.
Defending champion Jon Rahm, who yesterday sat in second place, slipped to 12th with a round of 75, putting him seven under overall.