Tiger Woods mounted a late charge Saturday to keep himself in the hunt in the World Challenge Presented by Northwestern Mutual at soggy Sherwood Country Club. Tiger birdied three of the last five holes to shoot a 3-under-par 69 and is tied for third at 8-under 208, five strokes behind leader Graeme McDowell.
Woods, the tournament host and defending champion, holed clutch birdie putts at 14, 15 and 17, and just missed a short opportunity at the par-4 18th hole. He'll need more of the same Sunday to catch McDowell, the 2010 winner, who shot a bogey-free 68.
"I missed a lot of opportunities, consequently I'm not in double-digits and not closer to the lead," said Woods, who carded four birdies and one bogey.
Tiger failed to birdie any of the five par-5s. And, for the third-consecutive round, he bogeyed the tough 238-yard, downhill, par-3 eighth hole.
"I think I'm 15-over par on that hole this week," he cracked.
For the third-straight day, light rain fell and players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in their own fairway. Not that the course was easy. Many shots plugged on the fairways and greens and there was little roll.
"It's wet, it's long and it's hard to get the ball close," said Woods. "You have to hit so much club to try and keep the spin off the golf ball. Some of those pins were difficult to get at."
Paired with Rickie Fowler, Tiger's round started well when he chipped in for a birdie at the short par-4 first hole.
"I hit it just a fraction too hard on my second shot with a little 9-iron," he said.
Woods followed with six-straight pars, then bogeyed the eighth, where he missed the green to the right into a deep, damp lie, flubbed his second shot short of the putting surface, then almost chipped in again for a par.
He parred No. 9 to make the turn in even-par 36.
On the back nine, Tiger made all pars until par-4 14th hole, where he spun a 7-iron from 165 yards about two feet from the cup. At the water-guarded, downhill par-3 15th, one of the most challenging holes on the course, he drained a 25-foot uphill birdie putt. Then, at the par-3 17th, he poured in a 16-foot birdie.
"It was a tricky little double-breaker," said Woods of the latter.
A five-time winner of the event, Tiger tees off Sunday at 1:47 p.m. ET with Bo Van Pelt. Four of his five victories at Sherwood have been in come-from-behind fashion. Woods has 10 top two finishes in the tournament in 12 starts.
First place is worth $1 million. Proceeds benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation