About the best thing Tiger Woods could say about his day at Riviera Country Club on Saturday was that it was over.
“That was a lot of shots,” the 15-time major champion said of his five-over-par 76 in the third round of the US PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational.
“I hit the ball quite a few times, especially on the greens and it was a long day.”
Woods’ tough day with the putter included a four-putt from 18 feet for double-bogey at the 13th — his fourth hole of the day, and a three-putt bogey at his final hole, the ninth.
Nine adrift to start the day, he knew he needed something special to move into contention for a record 83rd tour title — but he was going the wrong way from a bogey at the par-five 11th — where he was in the fairway off the tee but missed a par putt from within six feet.
“I didn’t putt well today at all,” said Woods, who took 33 putts. “I didn’t have a feel for it, I didn’t see my lines, I couldn’t feel my pace and I was just off.”
“Well, I’m done,” Woods said when asked if he took any positives from the round. “A new day tomorrow, that’s the way golf is.”
Woods will try again to get it right on Riviera’s bumpy Poa annua greens on Sunday, and then he’ll take a week off.
Under the circumstances, he was feeling good about his decision to skip next week’s WGC Mexico Championship, despite the fact that the elite event promises world ranking points key to the race to qualify for the US team for the Tokyo Olympics.
Woods said there are other priorities in managing his schedule, especially now that physical concerns limit the number of events he can play.
“The idea is to peak around Augusta time, yes,” said Woods, who captured his 15th major at the Masters last year to end a Grand Slam drought of more than a decade.
“I just felt I wasn’t going to be ready for next week, a little rundown and playing at altitude as well isn’t going to help that, so take the week off.”