For the first time in 2014, Tiger Woods looked like himself during the third round of the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship. After a horrendous first round and a second to forget, Woods recorded eight birdies to overcome two bogies for a third-round 66 that puts him at one under par and just three shots back of leader Patrick Reed as the final round begins on Sunday. Even after doubting Tiger all week, we have to say that we’re not really surprised.
This is classic Tiger. He withdrew from the 2014 Honda Classic last week because his back was bothering him so much and it appeared to be no better the first two days at Doral, but now after one solid Tiger-like round, he’s suddenly in contention to defend his title. However, it’s not over yet.
Woods’ back isn’t anywhere near 100 percent and he already admitted it’s bothered him a little bit in Doral. If it flairs up again this Sunday like it did last week, he could easily do more harm than good despite his improbable third round.
All week, the debate among the golf world was Tiger’s health versus his rhythm as he ultimately prepares for the 2014 Masters Tournament, which is just over a month away. After two rounds, it appeared he wasn’t helping himself on either front but even though he hasn’t truly been himself since the Thanksgiving debacle in 2009, he has still come through with random glimpse of his former, dominant self that leave us longing to see the old Tiger in full form again. Now, if he can do just enough to win on Sunday — or dominate again the way he did on Saturday — he’ll be arguably closer to doing just that than he’s been in half a decade.