PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – For much of its round, Tiger Woods flirted with the Players Championship's Secondary Cup, making three holes on his first eight holes while appearing to be lost on the greens.
He managed to straighten the bar of the last seven holes by making three birdies to save a pair tied at 72 points and win another round at TPC-Sawgrass.
"We have sort of fought back," said Woods. "I came back tied, I thought it was a good goal after being led from 3 to 8 and I fought, I fought until the end and I managed to maintain equality of goals for the day. "
That earned Woods a total of under 213 players for the tournament and enough of them to play Sunday. When there are more than 78 players who perform the 36-hole Cup, the PGA Tour offers a secondary cup to the top 70 players and a tie. Eighty players participated on Saturday. Those who fail to get ahead still receive a discount and are paid.
Woods did not make the secondary cup only once in his career at the Farmers Insurance Open 2014, where he was tied for 80th place.
Woods struggled on the greens, yielding almost three shots to the field. He took 31 putts just in the front on Saturday and missed 17, 10, 12, 15 and 9-foot putts. He finally made his first birdie in the 12th overall short of the 4th, where he flew the green and got 30 feet for eagle, then two putts.
He added a birdie to the 16th par-5 and then, with a pitching bevel, hit his approach at 3 feet for a bird at the 17th par-3 – where he hit two in the water and made 7 Friday.
"I just had a hard time slowing down green speeds," said Woods, "I was a little surprised that they were so slow." I probably made the mistake of put a little time yesterday afternoon – they were dry, crispy and fast.we went out this morning and we were surprised at how slow they were on the putting green.so we thought that they could be a little faster on the course, they were slow, the grain bothered him a bit more and I fought hard enough to hit the putts. "
Woods and his playing partner, Kevin Na, had some fun on the 17th, as both hit their tee shot near the hole.
Na took the habit of quickly removing the ball from the hole with short putts and, on his 4-foot on the 17th, moved after the stroke, even before hitting the hole. Woods, who had a 3 foot putt, tried to imitate the move.
"It looked like he was going to catch him before he got to the hole," said Woods, "I mean, he had to pull out his hand, slow it down, and I thought I was going to get it. would have a little fun with that, but I had to make sure to put the thread on first and then I would do what I would do.
Na said that he was not doing it on purpose and did not know when he had started it.
"I can not wait to get it out of the hole," he said. "The ball is scared of the dark."
Both players laughed as they came out of the green.
Cool weather and rain are expected for Sunday 's final round, and Woods now has a clear path to the Masters, the first major championship of the year, next month.
After the players, he will take leave next week, play the match-match WGC, then have another week before the Masters.
"I'm sure to play three rounds in a few weeks, so it's like a tournament and we'll see from there," said Woods, referring to the round-robin format used in the match-by-match game.