Woods' week at Firestone goes from bad to worse with third-round 75

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Tiger Woods had five bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies in a dismal 5-over 75 on Saturday.
By
Rusty Miller
Associated Press

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Tiger Woods logged another miserable round and then all but conceded the world No. 1 ranking to Phil Mickelson.

In the third round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Saturday, Woods had five bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies in a 5-over 75. He is 11 over -- his worst score in relation to par through 54 holes since turning professional in 1996.

Woods, whose personal life has been in tatters since revelations of infidelity last November, has been the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world for more than five years. But Mickelson can overtake him with a high finish -- something that Woods fully expects.

"Well, if Phil plays the way he's supposed to this weekend, then he'll be No. 1," Woods said after completing third-round play at Firestone Country Club.

Mickelson shot a 71 to fall into a tie for 10th. He needs to finish at least in fourth place alone to become No. 1.

A week before the PGA Championship and with six weeks left to the Ryder Cup, Woods' game is in shambles.

He actually drove the ball slightly better on Saturday, hitting half of the 14 fairways, but showed no consistency.

He was 1 over through six holes, but then jerked an iron far to the left of the green and into a large bunker next to the par-3 seventh.

"Great swing!" he yelled at himself on the tee.

Woods then blasted out of the sand to 25 feet above the hole and missed the par putt.

On the eighth hole, he hit his drive into the right rough, advanced it further along in the high grass to the right, and then mis-hit a chip shot that came up short of the green. He hurried to the ball and quickly hit another chip that ran 6 feet past the hole, then missed that putt, settling for a double bogey.

"Well, I drove it terrible, hit my irons terrible, didn't putt well, and it added up to a lot," Woods said later.

The 75 was his worst third-round score in relation to par since the 2002 British Open, where he shot 81.

After completing his round, he returned to the driving range. At that time, he was 18 shots off the lead and in 78th place, ahead of only two other players in the 80-man field.

He has never been worse than a tie for 71st through 54 holes since turning pro.

He took off for two weeks after tying for 23rd at the British Open, and hoped to use the Bridgestone as a tuneup for next week's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

He also hoped to put up a strong finish that would move him up in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings. He came into the week in ninth place, with the top eight players assured of spots on the team.

The timing seemed to be ideal, since he has dominated the Bridgestone and Firestone Country Club like few players have anywhere. He won the Bridgestone (and its forerunner, the NEC Invitational) from 1999-2001, 2005-7 and last year.

But instead of setting himself up for the final major of the year and the game's top team competition, his play has caused many to question whether he is the same player who captured 14 major championships before his 34th birthday.

Woods was asked if he could take anything positive out of his three rounds so far this week.

"No, not right now," he said.


Comments

sirkinney

I Agree with Lochan. The fact that he cheated is not a real issue to anyone outside TW immediate family. Cheating is not a new concept and is done on a daily basis both men AND women.

Now dought though that the mans life is in fragments. When your home life isn't 2gether, it's every difficult to have everything else fall in line. I've been divorce and not wanted it and it's a serious change. Friends you had with your spouse are no longer firends and your house is no longer a home: at times it's like staying at a strangers house where you just don't recognize it sometimes. He must get his life in order before his game comes back. And I agree: Tiger be yourself. If a bad shot pisses U off then be verbal. We all swear on and off a golf course. If U can't be who you truely are then your only fooling yourself. The cheating part U can change. The character that is U...U can't and shouldn't change. Find Tiger, you'll find your wicked game. P.S. This process won't happen over night.

clochan

Please folks leave TW alone. I happen to believe that he is suffering from extreme depression. The signs are there. He appears to have lost interest in his golf, he refuses to meet the press, he appears to be lost in himself. I believe his appearance at tournaments is to please his sponsors. He does not really care anymore about golf.

People may say that he deserves it for what he has done, but the real answer is why he cheated? Could it be that his wife was not giving him any action in the bedroom? Could it be a loveless marriage?

Tiger needs to give up golf until he resolves all his personal issues including his depression. People are trying to change Tiger to what he is not. His aggressiveness on the golf course has gone. People are trying to change his attitude towards his game and this is not going to work. he swears on the golf course so what!. He is abrasive so what! That's the real TW. Trying to be a nice guy to please the public is not TW.

I do not want to see Tiger ending up like Howard Hughes