Tiger Woods double-bogeys two par-5s in same round for the first time

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- In a professional career that is now in its 19th year, Tiger Woods had never done what he did Saturday at TPC Sawgrass -- make two double bogeys on par-5s in the same round.

Woods took it further by doing so on the same nine.

A double-bogey 7 at the second and another at the ninth marred his third round of the Players Championship and led to an ugly 75, dropping him to near the bottom of the leaderboard.

Woods declined to comment afterward.

"It's hard to score when you double two par-5s, obviously," said Graham DeLaet, who played with Woods during the third round.

Woods made the 36-hole cut on the number on Friday, shooting a 1-under par 71 that included a fist-pumping birdie on the final hole to make it to the weekend of a tournament he won two years ago.

But after making par at No. 1 for the first time this week, Woods ran into trouble at the par-5 second, his tee shot hitting a tree and dropping straight down, just 106 yards off the tee. From there, things got worse, as Woods failed to get his recovery shots in play. He was in a bunker in 3, over the green in 4 and his pitch back to the green left him a long bogey putt that he missed.

Woods followed a bogey at the sixth with a birdie at the seventh, but again ran into problems on a par-5 at the ninth. Two good shots had him in reasonable birdie range but he then attempted a full-swing flop shot that advanced the ball only a few feet. The same thing happened on the next shot, and then a third chip left him with a long bogey putt.

That marked the first time Woods did that on two par-5s in the same round in 306 starts as a pro on the PGA Tour. There have been 20 other worldwide starts in which it never happened, either.

Woods shot 40 for the first nine holes. He hit 13 greens for the round, compared to just 10 in each of the first two rounds, but he again struggled with pulled iron shots -- an issue he discussed Friday.

"I need to clean that up," he said.

On the back nine, Woods made eight pars and a birdie at the par-5 11th, meaning he played the par-5s in 3 over par after going 4 under on them Friday. He hit seven of nine greens on the back nine but gave himself just two chances inside 11 feet.

For the day, Woods had 13 pars, two birdies, two doubles and a bogey. He did not have a penalty stroke.

This is just the fourth tournament of the year for Woods and only his second since taking a 9-week break starting in February to work on issues in his game.

After a promising Masters, where he tied for 17th, Woods returned to a venue where he has won twice but where he has also generally struggled. In 15 prior appearances at the Players, Woods had nine finishes outside the top 10 as well as a withdrawal.

Woods will have another early tee time on Sunday to try and take some confidence out of the week. He is not expected to play again until the Memorial Tournament, which begins June 4.

Asked prior to the Players if he could build on the momentum from the Masters, Woods said: "I'd like to say yes. I've had some pretty good practice sessions. My short game still feels really good, and I just need -- we made a couple little swing tweaks since then to keep improving, to keep working on it, to keep getting it better, so that part is still a little bit fresh.

"I'm going to start playing a little bit more now since I'm in some of these events now, not like last week. I'm able to start playing a regular schedule now and start getting after it."