Tiger Woods was solid but didn't close the gap much on moving day at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open.
After barely sneaking into the weekend by closing out his opening 36 holes at one under, Woods had an up-and-down afternoon defined by inconsistency off the tee and excellent putting to close out Saturday's third round with a two-under par at Torrey Pines' South Course in La Jolla, California.
Woods is now three under for the championship.
An overview of the 42-year-old's day, which began on hole No. 10, can be viewed below:
- No. 10 (Par 4): Par, -1 overall
- No. 11 (Par 3): Bogey, E overall
- No. 12 (Par 4): Birdie, -1 overall
- No. 13 (Par 5): Birdie, -2 overall
- No. 14 (Par 4): Par, -2 overall
- No. 15 (Par 4): Par, -2 overall
- No. 16 (Par 3): Bogey, -1 overall
- No. 17 (Par 4): Par, -1 overall
- No. 18 (Par 5): Birdie, -2 overall
- No. 1 (Par 4): Par, -2 overall
- No. 2 (Par 4): Par, -2 overall
- No. 3 (Par 3): Par, -2 overall
- No. 4 (Par 4): Par, -2 overall
- No. 5 (Par 4): Par, -2 overall
- No. 6 (Par 5): Birdie, -3 overall
- No. 7 (Par 4): Par, -3 overall
- No. 8 (Par 3): Par, -3 overall
- No. 9 (Par 5): Par, -3 overall
Had Tiger been dialed in with his driver, there's a good chance he could have made a hard charge up the leaderboard.
However, that wasn't the case.
The 14-time major champion remained inconsistent off the tee, and he hit a total of just three fairways for the second straight day, as Golf Digest's Mike O'Malley documented:
Mike O'Malley @GD_MikeO
Tiger tee shots today on par 4s and par 5s: 10: 275 yards, L rough 12: 302, R rough 13: 314, R rough 14: 272, R rough 15: 294, L rough 17: 285, fairway 18: 290, R rough 1: 303, R rough 2: 272, fairway 4: 295, L rough 5: 329, fairway 6: 304, R rough 7: 305, L rough 9: 323 R rough
Early on, though, Woods was up to the task when it came to wiggling out of trouble.
After he carded a bogey on the par-third 11th, Tiger responded with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 to gain a stroke and move to one under on the afternoon.
The remainder of Woods' back nine was an adventure, but a birdie on the par-five 18th allowed him to safely make the turn in red figures.
Woods' success on par fives continued as his round neared a close.
Following five consecutive pars on the front nine, Tiger capitalized on a big cut from the tee box and funneled his approach shot on the par-five sixth to within 45 feet of the cup. A quality lag putt put Woods in striking distance of his fourth birdie of the day, and he capitalized to move to three under for the weekend:
Ultimately, strong putting proved to be his calling card.
Despite hitting just 21.4 percent of his fairways, Tiger held steady by posting a stellar mark of 3.197 strokes gained on the greens.
According to Golf Channel's Justin Ray, this is the fourth time since the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational that Woods has registered three rounds of par or better to open a tournament.
It's unlikely Woods will parlay that success into a run toward contention with the leaders hovering around 10-under par, but Saturday's performance proved a little added polish over the next few months could go a long way as he eyes his first win in five years.