ATLANTA — Tiger Woods didn’t make a birdie during the first 13 holes Saturday in the Tour Championship's third round. It brought to mind opening day, when he had his first birdie-less round since the 2010 U.S. Open.
You might say playing competitor Jason Dufner, he of expressionless faces and dry humor, noticed Woods’ dry spell.
“Duff was giving me a pretty good earful going down 13,” Woods said, smiling.
The earful and drought, however, stopped on the next hole when Woods chipped in from 19 feet for birdie – one of his two during a 69 that left him at 3-over-par 213 and in a tie for 26th in the elite 30-man field.
“So I was able to fire right back at him that I wasn’t shut out,” Woods said happily.
His ball-striking off, Woods hit five of 14 fairways for the second day in a row and 11 greens in regulation, his low for the week. He missed mostly to the right off the tee but also had the dreaded two-way miss going.
“I hit everything to the right or flipped it left,” Woods said.
He’s projected second in FedEx Cup points. If he stays there, he would receive a $3 million bonus – or $7 million less than the FedEx champion. Hence he sounded like he’s still focused despite being 15 strokes off the lead.
“The goal is to go out and shoot a low round tomorrow and see where the chips fall,” Woods said.