Tiger Woods owns 14 major championships, second only to Jack Nicklaus (18). But he has never won coming from behind in the final round. On Sunday, he'll get another chance in the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lytham St. Annes, England.
The 36-year-old Woods, a three-time winner of the Claret Jug, might have to alter his strategy.
For three rounds, he has played conservatively off the tee, hitting mostly irons to avoid the 205 bunkers on the course. While he has only found two, Tiger has also left himself with long approach shots to the greens.
As a result, his even-par 70 on Saturday in benign conditions left him with a 54-hole score of 6-under 204, in solo fourth place, five strokes behind leader Adam Scott. Scott and Graeme McDowell will play together in the final twosome on Sunday, with Woods and Brandt Snedeker starting just in front of them.
"It's the same process," Tiger said of overtaking Scott. "I've got to go out there and execute my game plan. When you're behind, you've got to make birdies."
That would suggest more woods off the tee, although no one is quite sure what to expect from the weather.
"We don't know what it's going to be like," Woods said. "It's supposed to blow, but they haven't got the forecast right yet."
Scott, who has never won a major, has been on autopilot for three days. If he continues to perform as he has, Tiger will have to take more chances to chase him down.
A good start is also imperative. Woods did that the first two rounds, shooting 4-under and 2-under on the front nine, but he stumbled out of the gate Saturday with bogeys on two of his first three holes.
"I didn't make anything," Woods said of his so-so putting round. "I hit some beautiful putts early, and I also got off to a bad start. But I battled back."
After bogeys at Nos. 1 and 3, Woods regrouped to birdie three of the last six holes on the front nine and make the turn in 1-under 33. He jump-started the round by sinking a 60-foot birdie putt at the 492-yard, par-4 sixth hole.
"I played about two feet of break, and it took forever to break," said Tiger, who was paired with Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark. "I was just trying to two-putt."
Suddenly energized, Woods hit a rare driver down the fairway at the par-5 seventh, the ball traveling 327 yards, and had about 250 yards to the front edge of the green. From there, he flushed a 4-iron that skirted past the front left bunker and rolled just off the back of the green. Tiger nearly sunk his eagle chip and settled for an easy birdie.
"That one I thought I could hole," he said of the chip.
Following a two-putt par from the right fringe at the par-4 eighth, Woods hit a nice pitching wedge four feet left of the cup at the downhill, 149-yard, par-3 ninth, and converted for his third birdie.
It would prove to be his last of the day.
Woods didn't play poorly on the back nine; he just never got anything going. He two-putted from 35 feet at the par-4 10th, then elected to hit iron off the tee at the 598-yard, par-5 11th. After a poor second shot, he missed the green with his third shot from 163 yards, then chipped to three feet and salvaged a par.
Tiger got a poor bounce at the 200-yard, par-3 12th, where his tee shot covered the flag but hit the downslope of a bunker and rolled off the green. Again, he hit a nice chip and saved par.
At the 340-yard, par-4 13th, Woods used a 5-iron off the tee and hit a poor approach shot from 120 yards, the ball failing to reach the putting surface. He two-putted for a par from about 30 feet.
Tiger gave himself a good birdie chance at the 444-yard, par-4 14th, but he left an 18-foot putt short of the cup.
He dropped a shot at the 462-yard, par-4 15th when he played it safe with an iron off the tee, resulting in a 228-yard second shot. Woods hit a 5-iron that came up well short and left of the green, then elected to putt, the ball finishing six feet short of the hole. He misread the par try and sustained a bogey.
At the par-4 16th hole, Tiger was unable to scare the hole with a 20-foot birdie attempt, then did well to two-putt the par-4 17th from 40 feet, leaving his birdie try almost five feet short.
He hit a nice drive and second shot to the par-4 18th hole, resulting in a 16-foot, left-to-right birdie putt, but left it short.
"I just didn't quite hit it hard enough," Tiger said.
Through three rounds, Woods has hit 37 of 42 fairways and ranks second in the field at 88 percent. He's also tied for eighth in greens in regulation at 72 percent, but needs to make more putts. Tiger is tied for 37th in one-putt greens with 20.
Wind or no wind Sunday, Woods knows he must shoot a good number to have a chance.
"I still think I have to go out there and shoot an under-par round," he said.
Woods and Snedeker will begin the final round at 9:20 a.m. ET.