All of that prompted Hank Haney, Woods' former swing coach, to send this message out from his Twitter account Saturday: "If Tiger wins the Memorial w the 3 penalty shots, 2 three putts and the other 3' missed putt he's had so far then look out for the rest of the year because he will tear it up once he tightens things down a little more". He wound up with a one-shot lead over Kyle Stanley, who bogeyed the 18th hole from the bunker for a 70; Patrick Cantlay, who drove into the creek left of the 18th fairway for a bogey and a 66; and Joaquin Niemann, the 19-year-old from Chile who atoned for one big mistake on the 15th hole with a birdie on the 18th for a 70. He posted back-to-back birdie "threes" at 13 and 14 and picked up a stroke at 16 before landing his 145-yard approach at the last five feet from the pin en route to a birdie. I know Tiger Woods at five back is the main event, and he has a host of big-name stars surrounding him (we'll discuss them below), but I fear we get numb to age. I just didn't really play well.
"I want to play well in front of my family", he said. "Had total control of what I was doing out there and just didn't finish it off".
The math favored physics-minded DeChambeau going into Sunday, but not by much.
"I missed a lot of short putts, which is something I don't normally do, which is just frustrating", he said.
"I am definitely not taking advantage of how well I'm hitting it", Woods said.
"Just keep thinking about those two 3-footers I missed", said DeChambeau, who was at 14-under 202. Course: Muirfield Village GC.
To prove the point, DeChambeau explained his improved putting this season, referring to the work he's done with the "Quintic" putter fitting system that's used by a company called Sik Golf.
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy holed a bunker shot for an eagle in a 64, the round of the day, to reach eight under.
McIlroy almost missed the cut, surviving on the number after two days. And now, after shooting a third-round 69 to get to 10 under, he'll go into the final round just four behind leader Bryson DeChambeau (66) at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. He finished with an 8-foot birdie on the 18th hole. It was his bid for another eagle that cost him.
Stanley, who won the Quicken Loans National last summer, was atop the leaderboard for much of the day and was starting to pull away until a poor tee shot at No. 6 led to bogey. Woods ran his 45-foot birdie putt about 7 feet by on the par-3 16th and missed it coming back, and then closed by missing a 3-foot par putt. Rose last week became the fifth player with multiple victories on the PGA Tour this year, joining Thomas, Bubba Watson, Patton Kizzire and Jason Day.
I should note: The largest comeback after 36 holes at the Memorial Tournament is nine shots by Ray Floyd in 1982.