The more things change, the more they stay the same.
You could be forgiven for thinking it was 2005 watching this week’s Valspar Championship. Names like Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Steve Stricker and, of course, Tiger Woods have popped up on the leaderboard in spots, and it’s Woods who has made the most news (naturally) as he sits one shot back of Canadian Corey Conners heading into Sunday at Innisbrook.
He's won 62 of the previous 69 instances: 89.9% pic.twitter.com/2RBI1WtcKM
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) March 10, 2018
Tiger Woods has played consistently well for seven consecutive rounds. His swift resurgence leads up to Sunday at the Valspar Championship, where he’s just a shot back of leader Corey Conners entering the final round.
Woods shot 4-under 67 Saturday in Round 3, his lowest score on Tour since 2015. There will be talk of some great revival at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course and there has been in a competitive sense. But Woods’ game looked close to or as sharp for much of the Honda Classic two weeks ago.
The revival truly started at PGA National, more of a slow burn, the biggest difference this week being his lack of the big number. Woods hasn’t made double bogey through 54 holes at the Valspar but had three at the Honda, derailing momentum and his chances of winning the tournament.
Woods very much has a chance to win this tournament when he tees off at 1:50 p.m. ET with Brandt Snedeker, who is T-2 and 8 under with Woods and Justin Rose after a 4-under 67. Rose shot 5-under 66 with an eagle hole-out from 120 yards at the par-5 11th hole to get into Sunday’s final pairing with Conners at 2 p.m. ET. Conners, a 26-year-old Canadian who got into the field as an alternate, moved to 9 under with a 3-under 68 and will be going for the wire-to-wire victory.
“It feels good to be up here,” Woods said. “I’ve been in this position many times. I’ve won my share of events here and overseas, so I like to be one back or near the lead. I’ve been here before. I just need to execute.”
These will be invaluable reps for Woods, who gets more comfortable with what his fused back will allow him to do every single round. The old swing is gone and it’s never coming back. Still Woods proved Saturday that the new one is capable of creating similar results.
Here are the complete third round highlights.
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