Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Tiger Woods hits 4-under

Tiger Woods hits 4-under

Large crowds continued to flock to catch a glimpse of Woods, even as he battled to stay within shouting distance of the leaders Saturday.

When Woods made his second bogey of the day it snapped a streak of four straight rounds with no more than one bogey or worse.

They each went bogey-bogey on the first two holes, though Gooch did somewhat redeem himself with a gain at the par-five fourth.

The Northern Irishman posted a close-range birdie at the fourth and rolled in from 12 feet at the ninth, before bouncing back from bogeying the 11th to eagle the next and pick up two shots over his final three holes.

"I might be Swedish, but I've gone soft", he said.

"There was one guy out there who kept yelling my wife's name; I was going to go over and have a chat with him, but, yeah, I don't know, I think it's gotten a little much, to be honest", he said.

Woods, who was level with compatriot Grayson Murray in the clubhouse, bogeyed the second before three birdies in four holes from the third put him back on track. Former Masters champion Danny Willett, who has dropped out of the top 200 in the world, is playing for the first time in the United States since the PGA Championship in August.

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"I felt like I left one or two out there coming in and I definitely could have wrapped up a two or three-shot lead for tomorrow which would have been a nice cushion, but it didn't happen", he said.

"Over the weekend past year I was hitting driver pretty much everywhere, leaving myself wedges in. I'll hopefully be within two or three of the lead, and I can make a run at it". 16 and 18, including hitting his approach shot on the final hole within feet of the cup. He rimmed out a 15-footer for birdie at 18 that would have resulted in an unlikely under-par round, but he settled for a respectable 72.

"I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field", McIlroy said at the time.

Woods sits four shots back following a 68 during tougher morning conditions.

Rory McIlroy is alone in third and two back at 10 under, 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose is T-4 at 9 under and perennial Bay Hill fan favorite Rickie Fowler is T-6 at 8 under.

Woods, a 14-time major victor making a comeback after back surgery, showed solid form at the Bay Hill course where he has captured eight career titles.

"Unfortunately, just didn't go my way today", he said. He at least managed to birdie the par 5s on the back, and had a tough par save on the 15th. "I like being out here, I like playing golf, I feel like over the last couple of months of 2017 into this year I sort of rediscovered my love for the game a little bit".

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