AKRON, Ohio, (Reuters) – Tiger Woods again mixed the good with the bad on his PGA Tour return as he toiled to a two-over-par 72 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational yesterday in only his third tournament round in three months. Shaking his head in disgust with each missed putt or wayward tee shot, the former world number one battled to a one-over total of 211 as most of his rivals gorged themselves on birdies at Firestone Country Club.
Woods, whose previous tour event was the Players Championship in May, recorded four bogeys and two birdies to end the third round 13 strokes off the lead, a day of frustration summed up by a missed three-foot par putt at the last.
“I didn’t putt well again today,” the 35-year-old American told reporters after totalling 33 putts in bright morning sunshine on Firestone’s heavily tree-lined South Course.
“I had two horseshoes, three-putted 18 and then made a bogey with a sand wedge on 16. That’s four shots right there I just threw away.”
As ever, though, Woods preferred to dwell on all the positives.
“The iron game was back,” he said. “I started getting a feel in my hands and just about every iron shot was on my number, which was great. “Today I didn’t hit the ball well starting off but I fixed it, put it together again and really hit it good coming home.
“I started hitting the ball the right flight, the right traj (trajectory). Every tee shot was flush and everything was back to where it was at the beginning of the week.”
Woods is a seven-times champion at Firestone but he started the week under closer scrutiny than usual after missing the last two majors while sidelined by leg injuries.