Commentary

Major weekend woes hit Woods again

Updated: August 11, 2012, 10:31 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- A round that began with so much promise for Tiger Woods never ended Saturday at the Ocean Course.

Perhaps that is a good thing, because it certainly wasn't progressing as hoped, his body language after a missed putt on the third hole setting the tone for what was an abbreviated Round 3 at the 94th PGA Championship.

Woods will return Sunday morning on the eighth hole with a par putt to avoid going 4-over par for his round.

"I got off to a rough start today and couldn't get anything going,'' Woods said through a spokesman. "I'll come back tomorrow morning and see what happens. There are a lot of holes left to play.''

Woods can only hope the break will do him some good as he pursues his 15th major title.

As other players such as Vijay Singh, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott were making a move on a much tamer but still difficult Ocean Course, Woods was going the other way.

Of the top 18 players on the leaderboard, Woods was one of only three over par and the only one as high as 3 over. He dropped from a share of the lead with Singh and Carl Pettersson starting the round Saturday to a tie for 11th, 5 shots back of leaders McIlroy and Singh, who are 6-under par. Woods is 1-under par.

Only one player, Scott Piercy, played the first seven holes worse than Woods. Piercy was 4 over during that stretch of holes.

McIlroy has completed nine holes of the third round, as has Scott. Singh is playing the eighth hole with Woods.

Play was halted at 4:50 p.m. ET due to inclement weather and then called for the day at 6:40 p.m. ET after a storm passed through, with the third round to resume Sunday morning. Players are to be in position by 7:45 a.m. ET and the fourth round will begin just before noon with players grouped in threes and going off both the first and 10th tees.

[+] EnlargeTiger Woods
Sam Greenwood/Getty ImagesTiger Woods couldn't get anything going Saturday and stood 3 over after just seven holes during Round 3 of the PGA Championship.

Woods will return at the par-3 eighth hole to try to salvage his round and cut into the lead he let slip away.

It's not difficult to find where it all went askew for Woods on Saturday.

He had knocked his approach at the par-4 third hole to no more than 4 feet from the cup for what appeared to be an easy birdie opportunity that would again put him atop the leaderboard with Singh.

But Woods badly missed the putt, pulling it to the left of the hole, and he did not try to hide his disgust. He cursed himself for missing, then took a long time to gather himself before attempting the par putt.

Woods had also missed makeable birdie putts at the first and second holes, the latter lipping out.

From there, he walked slowly to the fourth tee, and took a long time before hitting his tee shot, pulling it into the left rough. That led to the first of two consecutive bogeys.

He found more misery at the par-5 seventh, where he hit his approach long and could not get up and down for par. When play was called, he had left himself an 8-footer for par at the eighth hole.

This is the second Saturday in the past three majors that Woods fell back on the opening nine holes. At the U.S. Open in June, Woods was tied for the 36-hole lead at the Olympic Club, but made bogeys on four of his first eight holes and shot 5-over-par 75. He eventually tied for 21st.

Last month at the Open Championship, Woods was in the hunt through two rounds but could not make up ground on Saturday and eventually tied for third -- his best finish in a major since the 2009 PGA Championship, where he was second.

This year, Woods has been under par in five of the eight Thursday-Friday rounds in the majors but has yet to break par on the weekend. Unless he turns it around with 10 holes to play, he is headed for another over-par weekend round in a major.

Woods at one time was considered a lock with a 36-hole lead. He had been 8-0 from that position in his career in major championships but failed to convert at the 2009 PGA, where Y.E. Yang prevailed. This year's U.S. Open was the next time he held a lead in a major.

Woods has won three times this year on the PGA Tour and leads the U.S. Ryder Cup team standings and FedEx Cup points list. He has not won a major championship, however, since the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com