Tiger Woods thankful for small victories at Masters
In a week that hasn’t panned out as advertised, Tiger Woods took a win when he could get it.
After hitting the green on the par-3 12th hole for the first time all week, Woods raised his arms in celebration, then signaled “safe” to the cheers of the patrons in Amen Corner.
“How about that?” Woods said of his iron to 11 feet. “You know, I just, I just couldn’t do it three days in a row. I just couldn’t do it. And I gave it a little bit more gas on it and made sure that I was long if I did miss, and I hit a good one in there. I missed the putt, but, hey, you know, that’s a lot easier to play the hole from the green than it is dropping.”
In both the first and second rounds, Woods bounced his tee shots off the bank and into Rae’s Creek. He salvaged bogey both times, but his irritation with his iron play that has sabotaged his chances this week was palpable.
“It’s a tough little hole,” he said of the 12th. “I hit two terrible golf shots, though. They weren’t close to being dry. So it’s just the way it is. You can hit marginal shots there and get hosed, but those weren’t marginal shots, those were just terrible golf shots.”
Despite shooting even par after nine consecutive over-par rounds in majors going back to 2015, Woods was frustrated with his results Saturday. He played the par-5s in 1-over par with bogeys on Nos. 2 and 15 to leave himself just 1-under par on the scoring holes this week.
“Well, again, I didn’t play the par-5s well and I didn’t hit a lot of good iron shots,” he said. “I’m hitting so many good putts, they’re just not going in. But I’m not hitting it close enough. I’m not getting up there and not taking advantage of the par-5s and consequently a good round is even par.”
Woods still has plenty to shoot for in Sunday’s final round, with world ranking and double Ryder Cup points at stake as he tries to improve on his spot in the bottom half of the field. Just by making the cut, Woods will climb inside the top 100 in the world for the first time since March 2015. It’s pretty remarkable for a player who was ranked 1,199th in December before returning to competitive golf after fusion surgery on his lower back.
“I’m just kind of gradually working on it, gradually building,” Woods said. “I was pretty far out there, I think. I’m going to guess like over 1,400 or something, whatever it was. But to gradually kind of build my way back into it, I’ve had some success in this comeback and I’m getting there. I wish this week would have been a little bit better, hopefully tomorrow I can shoot something, get me to even par or even in the red, I think that will be a good goal tomorrow and hopefully I can get it done.”