Tiger Woods birdied No. 14 to move to six-under. His placard moved atop the board at The Open. Tied for the lead. At a major. On Saturday.
Even the most optimistic of golf fans have battled doubts, and for good reason. The health. The mental obstacles. Father time and the influx of younger, more athletic competition.
Will we ever see this again has been answered. Yes, yes we did. Will there be more magic? Here’s hoping.
In the first two rounds, Woods was steady and conservative. He eschewed the driver for irons off the tee and appeared to be most interested in not making the big mistake. In round three, Woods changed course and went for it.
The gamble paid off. He birdied No. 4 and 6, then No. 9-11. He birded No. 14 for good measure. For a few hours we was the Woods of old. It felt like stepping back in time, and it felt great.
Conditions are conducive to low scoring and dozens of players remain on the course. Woods could find himself facing an uphill battle tomorrow, but he will be in the conversation. And that is remarkable.
Tiger enthusiasts, neutral observers, and NBC executives are feeling greedy now, wanting more. But we should pause and savor what we saw. Woods competing down the stretch in a major. And doing it proactively, with a confidence rarely seen since the fall.
Tiger Woods was back, providing answers and thrills.