Augusta – Tiger Woods finds himself on the point of finishing considered one of sport’s biggest comeback tales, having performed his means into Sunday’s final group for the ultimate spherical of the Masters.
The 43-year-old American celebrity, who as soon as feared nagging again accidents would hold him from a traditional life, fired a five-under par 67 Saturday to share second on 11-under 205 after 54 holes at Augusta Nationwide.
“I am simply grateful to have the ability to come again right here and play once more,” Woods mentioned.
Woods, a 14-time main winner who has not received a serious title for the reason that 2008 US Open, is degree with countryman Tony Finau, each two strokes behind Italy’s Francesco Molinari, the reigning British Open champion.
The lead trio tee off at 09:20 (15:20 SA time) on Sunday after Masters officers moved up the begin to attempt to end earlier than anticipated afternoon thunderstorms.
“It is an early begin,” Woods mentioned.
“I am going to get the thoughts and physique prepared for tomorrow and get after it somewhat bit sooner than we’re used to.”
And Woods admits there’s stress as he tries to snap an 11-year main trophy drought.
“I all the time really feel strain,” he mentioned.
“The day I do not really feel strain is the day I give up. If you happen to care about one thing, clearly you are going to really feel strain.”
Years of nagging knee and again accidents knocked the previous world primary into the ranks of the also-rans, failed comeback bids bringing heartache. At one stage easy acts had been painful. A return to golf kind appeared an not possible dream.
4-time Masters champion Woods, who hasn’t received a inexperienced jacket since 2005, underwent a final probability spinal fusion surgical procedure in April 2017 that has revived the profession of golf’s dominant participant from 20 years in the past.
Woods, who has by no means received a serious title when trailing after 54 holes, contended for final 12 months’s British Open crown earlier than Molinari captured his first main at Carnoustie. He made a last-day PGA Championship cost however was fended off by Brooks Koepka.
Then Woods made his largest breakthrough but, snapping a five-year win drought by capturing the Tour Championship for his 80th profession US PGA title — two shy of Sam Snead’s all-time document.
“Final 12 months was a step in the appropriate course and constructed a season round that after which right here we’re,” Woods mentioned.
“It has been some time since I have been in competition right here however then once more the final two majors counts for one thing.
“I have been within the combine with an opportunity to win main championships within the final two years. And in order that helps.”
Roars for Woods have proven Augusta Nationwide followers assist his fightback bid they usually had been big Saturday, however Woods wanted a fast re-think after a bogey on the par-Four fifth.
“Simply be affected person. Quite simple,” Woods instructed himself.
“The golf course is definitely gettable, numerous scores going on the market. Let the spherical construct. We have an extended technique to go.”
Woods responded with birdies on the subsequent three holes and ran off three extra on the par-5 13th and 15th and par-Three 16th to briefly share the lead.
“I am simply ensuring I stayed in double digits (beneath par). That was the purpose, make certain I received to double digits and I used to be in a position to try this.”
Woods received his first main title at Augusta Nationwide in 1997, accomplished a run of 4 consecutive main wins right here in 2001 and likewise took the title in 2002 and 2005. His information of the course is essential to his possibilities.
“I needn’t go after each single flag. Simply put the ball within the right spots so I can have gettable seems to be and gettable putts,” Woods mentioned.
“If I give myself these seems to be the way in which that I am hitting my traces, I will be all proper.”
Saturday’s third spherical of the 83rd Masters match at par-72 Augusta
Nationwide Golf Membership:
203 – Francesco Molinari (ITA) 70-67-66
205 – Tony Finau (USA) 71-70-64, Tiger Woods (USA) 70-68-67
206 – Brooks Koepka (USA) 66-71-69
207 – Webb Simpson (USA) 72-71-64, Ian Poulter (ENG) 68-71-68
208 – Matt Kuchar (USA) 71-69-68, Justin
Harding (RSA) 69-69-70, Xander Schauffele (USA) 73-65-70, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 71-66-71,
Dustin Johnson (USA) 68-70-70
209 – Rickie Fowler (USA) 70-71-68, Adam Scott (AUS) 69-68-72
210 – Patrick Cantlay (USA) 73-73-64, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 71-71-68,
Justin Thomas (USA) 73-68-69, Phil Mickelson (USA) 67-73-70, Jon Rahm (ESP)
69-70-71, Jason Day (AUS) 70-67-73
211 – Bubba Watson (USA) 72-72-67, Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 70-72-69
212 – Jordan Spieth (USA) 75-68-69, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 71-71-70, Corey
Conners (CAN) 70-71-71
213 – Henrik Stenson (SWE) 74-72-67, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 75-70-68,
Cameron Smith (AUS) 70-74-69, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 78-67-68, Kevin Tway
(USA) 72-71-70, Patton Kizzire (USA) 70-70-73
214 – Aaron Clever (USA) 75-71-68, Marc Leishman (AUS) 72-72-70, Kim Si-woo
(KOR) 72-72-70, Kyle Stanley (USA) 72-72-70, a-Viktor Hovland (NOR) 72-71-71,
Charley Hoffman (USA) 71-71-72, Kevin Kisner (USA) 69-73-72, Bryson DeChambeau
215 – a-Takumi Kanaya (JPN) 73-74-68, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 73-71-71, Keegan
Bradley (USA) 76-68-71, Gary Woodland (USA) 70-71-74
216 – Jimmy Walker (USA) 72-72-72, J.B. Holmes (USA) 70-72-74, Charles
Howell (USA) 73-67-76, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 69-72-75
217 – Kevin Na (USA) 71-73-73, a-Alvaro Ortiz (MEX) 73-71-73, Patrick Reed
218 – a-Devon Bling (USA) 74-73-71, Keith Mitchell (USA) 72-74-72, Tyrrell
Hatton (ENG) 73-73-72, Satoshi Kodaira (JPN) 75-70-73, Andrew Landry (USA)
72-73-73, Bernhard Langer (GER) 71-72-75, Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP) 73-70-75
219 – Eddie Pepperell (ENG) 74-73-72, Branden
Grace (RSA) 72-75-72, Martin Kaymer (GER) 73-74-72, Li Haotong
220 – Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 72-75-73, Zach Johnson (USA) 74-73-73
221 – Billy Horschel (USA) 72-75-74, Trevor
Immelman (RSA) 74-72-75
222 – Alex Noren (SWE) 75-72-75