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How Tiger gave himself a chance to win the Masters

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There were moments Saturday afternoon in the third round of the Masters when it appeared Tiger Woods might fade into the background, writing too many pars on his scorecard on a day when Augusta National kept yielding birdies and eagles and an unprecedented collection of 64s.

Suddenly, as if it were 2005 all over again, Woods flipped a switch and there were the red numbers, the roars echoing off the tall pines.

When it was over, it all added up to 5-under 67, good for a three-day total of 11 under.

Here's how it all happened.

He has a history in the third round ...

Tiger has a history of making moves in the third round. Last year, he was 9 under in the third round of the four majors. That was the third-best total of any player. The two players he trailed? Adam Scott, who starts Saturday as one of the co-leaders, and Jon Rahm, who sits one behind Tiger.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 1: Par 4, 445 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: Even
Total for the tournament: 6 under

Tiger doesn't have a great history at No. 1, so it makes sense that he took a conservative approach. Just happy to walk away with a par. Now, though, it's time to get more aggressive. Off to the par 5 second hole. He hasn't taken advantage of the par 5s enough over the first two days.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 2 : Par 5, 575 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: Even
Total for the tournament: 6 under

Tiger still struggling to take advantage of the par 5s. A bad drive costs him this time and he has to settle for another par. He's played nine par 5s this week and has just three birdies.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 3: Par 4, 350 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: Even
Total for the tournament: 6 under

Tiger needed to keep his driver down the left side to attack the right pin on No. 3. Instead, driver goes right, leaving a tough pitch. Can't convert the up-and-down from there and has to walk off with a third consecutive par. Lots of birdies around him. None so far for him.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 4: Par 3, 240 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: Even
Total for the tournament: 6 under

Tiger burns the edge for birdie on the fourth hole. Even through four, which is fine ... except Tony Finau's on fire and has pushed the lead to 9 under. So Tiger, who started the day 1 back, is now 3 behind.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 5: Par 4, 495 Yards

Score: Bogey
Total for the day: 1 over
Total for the tournament: 5 under

It's clear Tiger has a way of playing the lengthened fifth hole at Augusta. Hit in the left bunker off the tee, walk off the green with a bogey. That's exactly how it's gone three days in a row.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 6: Par 3, 180 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total for the day: Even
Total for the tournament: 6 under

First sign of life from Tiger, again coming at the par-3 6th. He makes birdie there for the second consecutive day to erase the obligatory bogey at No. 5. Little fist pump. He's played here enough to be aware of the low numbers happening around him.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 7: Par 4, 450 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total for the day: 1 under
Total for the tournament: 7 under

Clearly Tiger hears the roars around him and knows it's go-time. After a birdie at No. 6, he hits his approach on No. 7 to a foot. With so many others torching Augusta National on Saturday -- namely Tony Finau and Webb Simpson -- he'll need to keep making birdies.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 8: Par 5, 570 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total for the day: 2 under
Total for the tournament: 8 under

Good news: Tiger finally made a birdie at the par-5 8th hole. Bad news: It came after he missed an 11-footer for eagle. Still, that's three consecutive birdies for Woods, who now sits in a tie for second place, one back of the leaders.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 9: Par 4, 460 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 2 under
Total for the tournament: 8 under

Tiger Woods scrambles on No. 9 to salvage par after a tee shot into the right-side pine trees. He goes out in 2-under 34 and turns to the second nine two shots off the lead.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 10: Par 4, 495 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 2 under
Total for the tournament: 8 under

Tiger gave his birdie putt a go at No. 10, but the 23-footer slid by. Settling for par isn't bad at the 10th. Most likely he'd take a 4 at No. 11 and go on about his day.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 11: Par 4, 505 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 2 under
Total for the tournament: 8 under

Tiger goes way, way right off the tee at No. 11. And that was actually a good thing, because it gave him a clear view of the green and a clear path to a par. He survived two of the tougher holes with par, though, to be honest, very little is actually tough today at Augusta National.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 12: Par 3, 155 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 2 under
Total for the tournament: 8 under

Tiger with another two-putt par, this one at No. 12. The next few holes will define his round. The par-5 13th, the easiest hole on the course, has yielded 31 birdies and two eagles. Up ahead, the par-5 15th is playing second-easiest and has permitted 23 birdies and three eagles.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 13: Par 5, 510 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total for the day: 3 under
Total for the tournament: 9 under

Tiger had to work harder than he probably would have liked for his birdie at No. 13, but he got it -- with a little luck. His tee shot bounced off some pines, and instead of tumbling into the tributary from Rae's Creek, it bounces onto safe land. From there, he navigated home a much-needed birdie.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 14: Par 4, 440 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 3 under
Total for the tournament: 9 under

Tiger had a chance to give it a go at No. 14, but his iron shot leaked to the wrong side of the slope and a birdie chance turns into a par.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 15: Par 5, 530 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total for the day: 4 under
Total for the tournament: 10 under

Another hard-work birdie for Tiger Woods at a par 5. He produces a delicate up-and-in from behind the 15th green. No matter how he got it, it's a birdie, his third of the day at the par 5s. That moves him to 10 under and one behind.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 16: Par 3, 170 Yards

Score: Birdie
Total for the day: 5 under
Total for the tournament: 11 under

Tiger Woods is tied for the lead. He knocked one close at No. 16, then walked in the birdie putt. That emphatic step toward the cup to pick up the ball, accompanied by the patrons' roar, was reminiscent of the old days.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 17: Par 4, 440 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 5 under
Total for the tournament: 11 under

You cannot go long with the pin all the way back on No. 17. Tiger Woods wasn't messing around with that, leaving his approach well short and happily taking a two-putt par. Behind him, though, Francesco Molinari made his third straight birdie to move into the lead.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago

No. 18: Par 4, 465 Yards

Score: Par
Total for the day: 5-under 67
Total for the tournament: 11 under

Tiger Woods pars the 18th hole to shoot 5-under 67. He will enter the final round in search of his fifth green jacket and 15th career major championship.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com5d ago