Troy Merritt watches his tee shot on the 15th hole during the third round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., Saturday, August 1, 2015.
Woods, who seemed to signal a return to contending golf Friday with 66 that moved him within three strokes of the lead, was errant off the tee early and had several birdie putts slide by the hole.
Woods was pedestrian early as he made par at his first four holes and bogey at his fifth (he started on the back nine).
Woods started on the back nine and slipped to one over for the day when he three-putted at the 14th for a bogey.
After an impressive second-round 65, Fowler produced more of a mixed bag on Saturday, carding six birdies and three bogeys in a round of 68 to sit one shot off the pace.
Merritt birdied the first five holes and picked up another at the seventh, but a careless three-putt at the long eighth led to his only blemish of the day.
“I had four lip-outs on my front-9 for birdies so I wasn’t-I wasn’t hitting bad putts; they just weren’t going in”, he insisted. So I just go out there and try to have fun and get another win somehow..
Ishikawa fared a lot better on the back nine despite a bogey at the 12th.
“I feel nothing, not even nervous or anything”, said Ko, who has won four events on the Korean tour and played only one event on the U.S. LPGA Tour, in South Korea, where she finished tied for 42nd at the 2014 KEB HanaBank Championship.
Ishikawa made a birdie attempt at the 17th from around 10 feet and wrapped up his round on a high note, draining another long birdie putt at the 18th. “I said stay patient and it will turn, which it did and I mean I had a run there”. “Takes time to build it”.
Meanwhile, the British Women’s Open at Turnberry looks set for an exciting final day with a clutch of players still in contention at the major. His approach at seven was two inches from the cup for a tap-in birdie, but he gave back a shot at the eighth, missing a six-foot par putt.
The last time Woods truly had a chance to win on a Sunday was at the WGC-Cadillac Championship past year.
“It was important for me to get out here and play because everything in West Palm is closed”, added Woods. First-round leader Antonio Hortal was a stroke back, following his opening 63 with a 71.
“Today was a really good score and I never thought I would be leading such a big tournament”, said the 20-year-old surprise packet. Its just a matter of time before things start to click in, Woods said.
The 2013 US Open champion is well placed on 11 under with Bill Haas and Carl Pettersson, who both returned high-quality 64s, while overnight leader Ryo Ishikawa struggled after an outward 34 and had to settle for a 71.
For Woods, an answer for why his swing was off and why he couldn’t put together his third straight round with a score in the 60s wasn’t immediately clear.
“The 70-footer is a bonus”, Fowler said. Kakko birdied the final three holes for a 64, and Henry shot 65.