AUGUSTA -- There were several Americans who made moves Saturday at Augusta National Golf Club in the third round of the Masters.
They just weren’t the one most people expected.
Tiger Woods entered the third round tied for third with K.J. Choi at 7 under, three shots behind leader Rory McIlory. But Woods lost ground Saturday and fell seven shots out of the lead after a 2-over-par 74.
Still, Woods remained confident that he can win his fifth Masters title Sunday.
“Absolutely,” Woods said. “I’ve got to go out there and put together a good round (Sunday) and see what happens.”
Woods may need a special round Sunday and plenty of help if he is going to get back in the hunt. He is tied for ninth and has never won a major tournament when he has trailed entering the final round.
Woods has finished in the top six the past five years in the Masters, but he hasn’t won this tournament since 2005. His best round in the Masters is 65, and his best round since his most recent victory was the 66 he shot in Friday’s second round.
“I’m going to have to put together a good front nine and see what happens,” Woods said. “That’s the position I’m in now.”
Woods is tied for 14th in driving distance this week. He has hit 25 of 42 fairways and 37 of 54 greens in regulation.
But Woods’ main problem has been with his putting. He is tied for 27th among the 49 players who made the cut with 89 putts, and he is tied for 44th with four three-putts, including two Saturday.
Woods had only two birdies in the third round -- on the third and 13th holes -- and he had bogeys on the first, fourth, 11th and 18th.
“I hit just a lot of beautiful putts that didn’t go in,” Woods said. “It could have easily been 3 or 4 or 5 under. I was hitting beautiful putts. It is what it is. I swung the club well all day. That wasn’t the problem. As I said, two three-putts and a bunch of putts that looked like they were going to go in. I just didn’t make anything on the greens.”