Tiger: 'I just need more reps'
Struggles with all-around game during third-round 72 at WGC-Bridgestone
August 02, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Tiger Woods is 1 over for the tournament, one that he has won a record eight times. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
AKRON, Ohio -- For the second straight day Tiger Woods failed to break par at Firestone Country Club, shooting a 2-over 72 that leaves him at 1 over and well down the leaderboard at a tournament he has won eight times.
“I missed a lot of opportunities out there,” he said. “I did not putt well again.”
Woods also struggled off the tee and with his irons, hitting just six fairways and seven greens in regulation. He took 26 putts, making just three from outside 5 feet and only one beyond 10 feet.
A year removed from a seven-stroke thumping that included a course record-tying 61 in the second round on his way to his eighth career win at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Woods hasn’t looked close to that form.
He has had to remind himself this is just his third start since undergoing back surgery earlier this year and missing more than three months.
“I just need more reps,” Woods said. “I'm actually getting better the more rounds I'm playing. I'm actually getting my feel back.”
It just didn’t show on the scorecard.
Woods played his first five holes Saturday in 1 under but made a mess of the par-4 sixth, losing his drive well to the right and taking four shots to reach the green. Then he badly missed a six-footer for bogey before tapping in for double.
He also missed a birdie putt from that distance on No. 12 and on the next hole after hitting his approach into a greenside bunker failed to get up-and-down, two-putting for bogey from 13 feet.
Woods had a chance to birdie 18 but missed from 7 feet there, too.
“I'm hitting more shots pin high right on the numbers,” Woods said. “I just need to convert. If I putt normal the last two days, I shoot 2, 3 under par, no problem.”
But he didn’t give himself that many opportunities to, either. Woods hit just three approach shots inside 10 feet and only four inside 20 on a soft golf course that has yielded some low numbers this week.
Woods also switched drivers this week, going back to the one he used last year. It has a lighter shaft than the one he has been using this season and he thought it would help get his speed up because he is not as explosive since returning from surgery.
On 18, Woods hit his longest drive of the day, 340 yards down the middle. It didn’t lead to the result he wanted but was a positive sign in his eyes.
“Unfortunately, too little, too late,” he said. “But if I continue doing what I was doing coming in today, I'll be just fine.”
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