LA JOLLA, Calif. — Sure, he’d love to play well on Sunday. He’d really like to pick up that seventh win at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Regardless of what does or doesn’t happen in the final round, though, Tiger Woods wants to walk away from Torrey Pines knowing he’s made more progress in his quest to reconstruct his swing.
Woods didn’t exactly have that feeling on Saturday after the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open. The 74 he shot on the South Course was just his second over par round in 46 trips around Torrey Pines.
Woods set the tone for the afternoon when he made bogeys on three of his first five holes. Two birdies later, he made the turn in 37 but added another bogey at the 15th hole.
“I didn’t swing the club very well at all,” Woods said. “Didn’t feel comfortable, as I said, until 16. By then it’s too late and the damage had already been done.”
As a result, Woods starts the final round eight strokes off the pace being set by Phil Mickelson and Bill Haas. To win his sixth straight start at Torrey Pines appears to be a pretty big challenge — even for the once seemingly-invincible former world No. 1.
But Woods sees this third evolution of his swing as a “process,” and he’s only six months into the reconstruction phase. Not to mention, Saturday was just Woods’ third competitive round of 2011.
“It’s always easy to do it at home on the range,” he said. “Then you have to do it on the golf course at home, and then once you’re able do it there, now you have to do it out here. Then once you do it out here, you have to do it in contention. Then once you do it in contention, you have to do it in major championships. And then you have to do it on the back nine of a major and be successful.
“So it it’s a process, a building process. I’ve been through it before, and I hit some good shots out there, unfortunately, I hit way too many bad ones.”
Speaking of majors, Woods hasn’t won one since his last victory here at Torrey Pines in the 2008 U.S. Open. Asked if there was a timetable for regaining his consistency, he didn’t mince words.
“Yeah, Augusta,” Woods said. “… I need it in June, I need it in July, and I need one in August, so …
“You want to peak. That is the whole idea. I’ve always tried to peak four times a year. I’ve been successful at it 14 times in my career.” – Helen Ross
It’s a work in process…