Can Tiger Woods turn things around at The Players Championship? Follow his third round


USA TODAY Sports’ Larry Berger discusses what makes the 17th island green at TPC at Sawgrass a special hole.

Tiger Woods lived to see the weekend — barely.

Playing in The Players Championship for the first time since 2015, Woods went into Saturday’s round at 1-under-par, which was the cut line. 

But now he’s showing life during the third round on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

Follow his round with our hole-by-hole tracker throughout the day.

Hole 10 – Par 4

Woods uses an iron to cook his first shot down the left side of the fairway.

Thoughts at the turn

Unlike the first two rounds, everything is clicking for Tiger. He’s coming out of the tee box well, his approach shots have been nearly flawless and he’s taken 12 putts through nine holes. We’re seeing vintage Woods, who heads into the back nine in a tie for 11th place.

Hole 9 – Par 5

Will Woods’ mastery of this hole, which he eagled Thursday, continue? He mashes his drive down the fairway, just right but in a great spot. And, just like Thursday, he crushes his second shot. He’ll have a lengthy putt from the back of the green for eagle, but he’s set up nicely. The 40-foot putt is just left and about 2 feet from the cup. Easy tap-in for another birdie, and Woods is on pace for the course record. -6 through 9 holes (-7 for the tournament).

Hole 8 – Par 3

Woods hits an iron to about 30 feet of the hole. He runs his first putt just a bit to the right, finishing about 3 feet from the cup, and then makes the putt for par. -5 through 8 holes (-6 for the tournament).

Hole 7 – Par 4

Woods drills his 3-wood right down the fairway of this 451-yard hole. He sticks his second shot behind the hole, about 5 feet away from the cup. Another birdie opportunity is within reach — and achieved! Woods has taken only eight putts through seven holes and is now in the top 20 on the leaderboard. -5 through 7 holes (-6 for the tournament).

Hole 6 – Par 4

After another solid tee shot, Woods makes his first real mistake of the day. He irons his second shot a little long and it rolls down off the back of the green and near a sprinkler, where he gets an official ruling on his placement. He makes a good putt in a difficult situation, getting the ball within 5 feet and then making the putt to save par. -4 through 6 holes (-5 for the tournament).

Elsewhere: Tiger is off to the best start among those currently on the course, but Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are also having good days. Both are at 2 under for the round, getting them to 3 under for the tournament. 

Hole 5 – Par 4

Momentum seems to be building for Woods, who drives right down the middle of the fairway. His second shot gets him within 20 feet, where he nails he birdie putt. Tiger is feeling it! There’s still a long way to go to catch Webb Simpson, but he is taking baby steps on Moving Day. -4 through 5 holes (-5 for the tournament).


Hole 4 – Par 4

Woods hits an iron that finds the fairway. Each of his first four shots from the tee box have been nearly ideal. Speaking of ideal, Woods blasts his second shot within 10 feet of the hole, going over the water lining the front of the green. Another chance for birdie, and he makes it. Three birdies in four holes. -3 through 4 holes (-4 for the tournament).

Hole 3 – Par 3

This hole has been a mixed bag for Woods the first two days. He followed a Thursday bogey with a birdie Friday. His first shot finds the green about 20 feet away from the cup. He putts a touch too hard, but makes his second putt for par. -2 through 3 holes (-3 for the tournament).

Hole 2 – Par 5

Woods’ first shot gets into the rough, but he has a good look for his second shot. He nearly finds the green, but hits near the front-left bunker. His third shot is a perfect chip to about 5 feet, where he’ll have a chance for a birdie-birdie start. And it’s good. Two holes, two birdies. Things are looking up. -2 through 2 holes (-3 for the tournament).

Hole 1 – Par 4

Good morning! They’re underway at sunny TPC Sawgrass as Woods and Hughes are the sixth pair to get going. Woods has gone par-par on this 423-yard hole in the first two rounds. Woods drives his first shot down the middle of the fairway, setting up a clean wedge to the green, about 15-20 feet short. He drains the putt for birdie. Nice start to Round 3. -1 through 1 hole (-2 for the tournament).


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