Woods fails again on Major Saturday

World number one Tiger Woods carded a 6-over 76 on Saturday to sink to 9-over through three rounds of the US Open at Merion, equalling his highest score at the event as a professional, with his worst score coming as an amateur in 1996 with a third-round 77.

He enters Sunday’s final round ten strokes behind leader Phil Mickelson and no chance of adding to the 14-major haul that has been at a standstill for five full years now, dating back to his 2008 US Open victory at Torrey Pines.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: USGA/John Mummert)

Sadly for the 14-time major champion, the situation was much the same as in recent major championship weekends. A year ago, Tiger Woods carried a share of the lead into the weekend before a 5-over 75 left him T14 heading into the final round, five strokes behind the leaders.

A final-round 3-over 73 left him T21, his second-worst finish in 15 professional starts at the US Open.

At Merion, Woods ranks 22nd in greens in regulation and third in fairways hit through three rounds however his failure to convert chances on and around the greens has proven to be an all too familiar frustration for Woods of late in the majors.

Woods has won four times on the PGA Tour in 2013 and his putting in each event has been outstanding, however the same confident, dominant aura that he has carried in his march to each of those victories has been replaced by an aura of disappointment and frustration.

Woods has taken 96 putts through three rounds, only 4 less than he took in winning at Doral earlier this year – albeit on substantially less difficult greens.

“It’s certainly frustrating because I was feeling like I was playing well this week and I just didn’t make the putts I needed to make,” he said after the round.

“The first two days, I had, like, three 3-putts and I was four shots off the lead, and I missed a boatload of putts within 10 feet. So I really wasn’t that far off.”

With so many strokes and quality players ahead of him, what remains ‘far off’ is the Nicklaus major record of 18, which Woods will now have to re-focus his energies towards when he tees of in the Open Championship at Muirfield in a month’s time.