Sports Pulse: USA TODAY Sports # Steve DiMeglio discusses the upcoming tournament and why it will pose many obstacles for golfers.
Following a top-five finish at the beginning of the month at Quicken Loans National, Tiger Woods is back on track this week, awaiting his first major championship victory since the US Open 2008.
The 14-time major champion plays this week at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland in the third golf tournament, the Open Championship. Tiger opened the game on Thursday with a balanced par 71 and followed on Friday with another 71.
Tiger last played The Open in 2015, missed the cut and finished 137th. His career at Carnoustie includes a T47 at the 1995 Scottish Open he missed the cut the following year and then finished T7 at the Open Championship and T12 at the 2007 Open.
Tiger dances alongside Shaun Norris at 8:15. Follow step by step analysis of his third round.
Hole 11 – Par 4
He is now crossing. Tiger goes back to the driver and smashes the fairway and almost drives the green! He stands just in front of a bunker on the left and has a slight wedge on the green for another great scoring opportunity.
Hole 10 – Par 4
Here he comes. Tiger is in 10th place for the first time this week and whirls the bat while he runs from the tee box. This is down the fairway on the right. IMPRESSIVE. This almost lashes out and lands only a few inches from the cup. This is a good idea when playing with friends and playing Tiger for birdie. 4-under 10 (4-under for the tournament)
Elsewhere in the field: While Tiger took 10th place, Jordan Spieth drove the green on the first hole and started his lap in an Adler Putt who circled around the cup. Today it will be a lot of fun.
Thoughts on the turn
Below average on the front directed backwards … sounds familiar? Tiger is in the same position he was on Thursday before wasting a solid round with a bad performance on his back. Not being able to conclude tournaments or rounds has been a massive fight for Tiger in this last comeback. He has largely avoided mistakes today, but he has to go low on the back to put some pressure and climb the leaderboard.
Hole 9 – Par 4
Driver here for Tiger and wow, that's being smoked. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a failure. He was conservative all day, but still four shots behind, and the leaders are still waiting for the tee. Tiger could increase the pace and take some chances. At a distance of 170 meters from the Schwingel, Tiger captures it fairly clean and finds the middle of the green. BANG! Tiger drops the long birdie putt to reach 3-under on the top nine (3-under for the tournament).
Hole 8 – Par 3
Tiger became aggressive with this but comes up short and to the left of the green. He goes with putter here and comes only a few inches from the cup. He walked away and got ready to pump his fist when it fell, but instead his other par. 2 to under 8 (2-under for the tournament).
Hole 7 – Par 4
The weather is just perfect in Carnoustie today and Tiger is back to his conservative game. Another perfect iron from the tea finds the fairway. He is not as registered as on Thursday, but that was another solid approach from Tiger. He finds the front of the green, about 10 meters from the needle, for another birdie opportunity. This one does not fall, but never mind, still a par. 2-under 7 (2-under for the tournament)
Hole 6 – Par 5
Bea-utiful ride from tiger to no. 6. He starts it on the left and gets it back right, landing deep in the fairway. His neck simply climbs to the front of the green, but the supine leaves a long eagle putt with a massive hill in its line. His putt takes a long break from the slope and leads to the hole, but not nearly enough. It comes up within 8 feet, and Tiger buries the bird. He is 2-to-6 (2-under for the tournament).
Hole 5 – Par 4
Iron the tee for Tiger and this is on the fairway on the left. His approach is good, not great, he finds the green, but not nearly the hole. He has 42-feet with a slope in his path, but it does not have much rest. A complete misreading and mixing here, long and proper, leaving some work to save par. He drops the putt at 1-under 5 (1-under for the tournament).
Hole 4 – Par 4
Tiger goes 3-wood here and crushes it just before 300 yards. He beats tea well early on, which was his main problem yesterday. His approach to the back pin is fantastic, checking within 8 feet for a great view of Birdie. No doubt about this! A self-confident, strong punch drops the Birdie Putt. 1 to 4 (1-under for the tournament)
Hole 3 – Par 4
Tiger paints the center of the fairway with this one. No. 4 plays a bit shorter today, and to avoid bunkers, he pulled 7-irons out of his pocket. That's right, he just hit a 7-iron from tee on a par 4. His approach finds the green, but he still has some distance, leaving about 30-a-few feet for birdie. Tiger took this for a ride over a slope and with some serious pause, but narrowly missed the hole. Another par. Even up to 3 (Also for the tournament)
Hole 2 – Par 4
Driver from the tee for Tiger and this one is crushed 316 yards down the fairway , Flip wedge from there and Tiger hides it within 10 feet for a birdie chance. He did not have the right line because he just missed the right edge of the cup. Tip-in-Par. Even until 2 (Also for the tournament)
Hole 1 – Par 4
Iron the tee at No. 1 for Tiger and he grabs it on the right side of the fairway, but the ball trickles just in the first cut. Tiger loses this long and stays in the thick rough. His chip is pretty solid, he finds the green at about 10 feet to save par and saves par what he does. Even up to 1 (Also for the tournament)
Ranking Update: Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner are still on the leaderboard in 6-under, but Chris Wood has made a run. He is 6 to 14 holes and is 4 under the tournament. The best lap of the day, however, is with Justin Rose, whose 7-under-64 (one-shot-off of the track record by Tommy Fleetwood) also gives him 4 under and only two beats ahead.