Saturday, June 16, 2012


By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM 
SAN FRANCISCO — Tiger Woods has already won twice this season, most recently coming from four strokes off the pace at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago to win for the 73rd time in his career.
If he’s to add a 15th major to his collection on Sunday, though, Woods will have to do something he’s never done in one before — stage a rally to get that win. And even though he’ll start the final round five strokes behind after Saturday’s disappointing 75, Woods is hardly daunted by the task.
"I’m definitely still in the ball game," he said. "I’m only five back and that’s certainly doable on this golf course for sure."
Woods started the third round with a share of the lead but put himself behind the eight-ball early, playing the first six holes in 2 over. He went on to make a total of six bogeys, including one at the par-5 16th, while only making a single birdie.
Putting was the problem, according to Woods, who had 34 on Saturday. He also hit just seven fairways — "I was just missing by just a few yards and that was enough," Woods said – and only 11 greens in regulation.
"I struggled on the greens today, quite a bit," Woods said. "They looked quick, but they putted slow. But they were firmer than they were yesterday. So it was a tough tough feel for me to adjust to and it was amazing how all day I kept getting a half club. Just one of those days where I was right in between clubs on about every single shot. Just never quite had the right number."

After he finished his post-round interviews, Woods went directly to the practice green. There he worked on trying to hit the ball harder in anticipation of similar conditions on Sunday at The Olympic Club.
"Try and maybe put a little more hinge in it going back, just something with more hit, because I just am leaving those putts short and they’re dying at the lip," Woods said. "I need a little more hit in it."
Woods will tee off at 4:50 p.m. ET on Sunday, playing with Casey Wittenberg, eight groups from the leaders, Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk, his playing partner on Saturday. McDowell and Furyk are former U.S. Open champs like Woods, although he’ll be going for what would be his fourth newly-named Jack Nicklaus medal.
"Tomorrow I’m just going to have to shoot a good round tomorrow, and post early and see what happens," Woods said.
The key will be getting through the front nine unscathed on Sunday and then taking advantage of the back-to-back par 5s in the final three holes. Woods expects the course to play similarly to the way it has in the first three rounds.
"It’s just patience," he said. "It’s just a few birdies here and there. It’s not like where you have to go out there and shoot 62 and 63. This is a U.S. Open. You just need to hang around. First you need to get off to a good start. Get through the first six. Because anything can happen at the last three holes.    
"I think that tomorrow they will probably move it up on 16 so that some of the longer hitters can at least get in the front bunkers. And then it will be interesting to see where they put the pin on 17. Whether they put it over on the right or not."

Par 210 (3x70)
Players from US unless stated
209 Jim Furyk 70 69 70, Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland) 69 72 68
211 Fredrik Jacobsen (Sweden) 72 71 68.
212 Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) 72 69 71, Blake Adams 72 70 70, Ernie Els (South Africa) 75 69 68, Lee Westwood (England) 73 72 67
213 John Peterson 71 70 72, Jason Dufner 72 71 70, Beau Hossler (am) 70 73 70, Kevin Chappell 74 71 68, John Senden (Australia) 72 73 68, Webb Simpson 72 73 68

214 Tiger Woods 69 70 75, Martin Kaymer (Germany) 74 71 69 (T14)
215 Sergio Garcia (Spain) 73 71 71, Justin Rose (England) 69 75 71, Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 74 70 71 (T18).
218 Ian Poulter (England) 70 75 73 (T42)
219 Marc Warren (Scotland) 73 72 74 (T47)
221 Matthew Baldwin (England) 74 74 73 (T61)
222 Simon Dyson (England) 74 74 74 (T66)





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