Tiger Woods carded three birdies and one bogey to shoot a 2-under-par 68 on Saturday in the third round of the $8.5 million World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Woods, a seven-time winner of the tournament, began the third round at 2-over 142, 13 strokes behind leader Jim Furyk. He's now at even-par 210 for the tournament.
"I hit the ball well and made some putts," said Woods. "I thought I was playing pretty well for 11 holes, but I was getting killed by my playing partner (Brendan Grace)."
Paired with the South African for the third-consecutive round, Tiger got off to a promising start by parring the first three holes. At the par-4 fourth, he hit his third shot 36 feet from the cup and knocked in the birdie putt, a good sign given how much he struggled on the greens the first two rounds.
Woods closed the front nine with five-straight pars to make the turn in 1-under 34. He missed a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-3 fifth hole, but made nice par-saves at the par-4 eighth and ninth getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the latter.
After missing a 13-foot birdie putt at the par-4 10th, Tiger drained a 28-foot birdie at the par-4 11th to get to 2-under for the round. Following a two-putt par from 20 feet at No. 12, Woods bogeyed the par-4 13th. He hit a poor drive in the left rough, wound up 55 feet from the pin on his second shot and three-putted.
Tiger two-putted the par-4 14th hole for a par from 16 feet, then two-putted the par3 15th hole from 26 feet for another par. At the 667-yard, par-5 16th, he drove into the right rough, played back onto the fairway, then hit his third shot from 154 yards to 28 feet from the cup and buried the birdie putt.
Woods split the fairway at the par-4 17th, then hoisted his second shot long, 42 feet from the pin. He hit his third shot to within a foot of the cup for an easy par. At the par-4 finishing hole, Tiger hit a big drive and knocked his approach shot 27 feet short of the cup. He easily two-putted for a par.
"It was good to finish up on a positive note," Tiger said. On the day, Woods hit 83 percent of the greens and only 43 percent of the fairways in regulation and used 31 putts. In his previous two rounds, he took 33 and 29 putts.
"I just did some work yesterday and found some alignment, some positive things and got my feel back," he said. "My blade was releasing properly again, and it felt really comfortable."
With an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms expected on Sunday, tee times have been moved up. Players will be sent off two tees in threesomes starting at 8 a.m.
"I'm not that far off and just got to play one solid round tomorrow," said Tiger.