Saturday afternoon last weekend, had seen Woods ring up seven birdies with three accompanying bogeys and one double to close at 2-under par 70.
And if not for some scratchy lay over the closing holes, his final score would have been better, thus putting him into strong contention to win.
However, Woods has been able to exceed most reasonable expectations, given his return from his time off after back surgeries had kept him out of the game for a 15 month period. This saw him miss out on cuts at the British Open, U.S. Open and the PGA.
During an appearance afterwards at the NBC Booth, Woods had said,
“Probably the biggest surprise for me as a player who has taken time off in the past has been finding the flow early in my rounds. For three straight days I’ve gotten off to great starts,”
“Overall, I’m so happy to be back out here and competing against these guys. It’s been a tough road to get to this point. I’ve missed it.”
Alongside Rickie Fowler, woods had teed off at 12:26 ET, in an all-gray ensemble that matched the colour of the sky.
He started out on a sublime note, stuffing iron shots on 1 and 2, before going on to feather a pitch shot on 3, thus kicking in a range for a third straight birdie.
Soon after, he dropped a six foot par saver on 4, before fanning his tee shot on the par-3 5th into a front bunker.
On the 6th, he blew a five-footer to get his first bogey in 24 holes. However, he bounced back with another bogey, thus turning in 32. Another birdie putt on 11 pushed him to 11 under and into the top five.
Woods believes that he wouldn’t have competed if he didn’t feel he could compete at the highest level.