Tiger Woods hits out of the bunker from an awkward stance on the 12th green Saturday on his way to a 7-over 79 at the Memorial.(Photo: Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports)
DUBLIN, Ohio - At least Tiger Woods didn't post the worst score of his professional career.
world No. 1 came within two strokes of matching his worst score since
turning professional in 1996 when he shot 7-over-par 79 in Saturday's
third round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. Woods'
highest score came at Muirfield in Scotland in the third round of the
2002 British Open when he shot an 81.
was a rough day. It was tough out there from beginning to end," said
Woods, who did not talk to news reporters after the round but summarized
his round to a PGA Tour official.
with rounds of 71-74-79, is 8 over, just three shots better than last
place (Matt Kuchar led at 8 under after shooting a 70). It's not exactly
what Woods, a four-time winner in 2013, expected in his final tuneup
before the U.S. Open at Merion in less than two weeks.
Memorial's only five-time winner, averaged 69.14 strokes per round in
his last 11 starts at the place Jack Nicklaus built. But with three
bogeys, two double-bogeys and one triple-bogey, Woods matched the
highest score he's ever shot in the USA. He also set one dubious record -
his 8-over-par 44 on the back nine was the worst nine-hole score of his
career. He previously had shot 43 on three occasions.
hit that many bad shots starting out the day and the next thing you know
we are quite a few over par," Woods said. "It was a tough day. I tried
to fight back on the back nine, just didn't quite materialize.
just one of those things where I'm sure I'm not the only one who
struggled out there. The conditions were tough, and when I missed it
cost me. I caught the wrong gusts at the wrong time, made a couple bad
swings and all in all it just went the wrong way."
going the wrong way at the 12th hole - his third hole of the day. His
tee shot on the par-3 12th was 1 yard from being close to the pin but
instead caught the bank rimming the green and rolled back into a bunker.
From there, the lie, position of the ball and stance Woods had to take
prohibited him from hitting toward the flag. Forced to play away from
the flag, Woods knocked his second to 50 feet and three-putted for a
On the par-5 15th, Woods made double bogey from the
middle of the fairway for the second consecutive day. This time, his
second shot ended up directly behind a tree. He chipped short of the
green, chipped long, then three-putted.
He chunked a chip from a
tough lie on 17 for another bogey. The 18th, however, summed up his day
perfectly. Woods hit a perfect drive on the par-4, then hit what he
thought was a perfect shot from 138 yards. But the shot flew 132, caught
a bank and rolled back off the green to 30 yards short. Woods flopped
his third shot toward the green, but it caught the same bank and rolled
back to his feet. His fourth went 4 feet above the hole, from where he
three-putted for a triple bogey.
He made birdies on three of his
first five holes on his inward nine after posting his 44. But two bogeys
in his last four holes ended his miserable day.
Steve DiMeglio, USA TODAY Sports