PONTE VEDRA BEACH, United States (AFP) - Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods slipped further down the Players Championship leaderboard on Saturday with a third-round 75 that included double bogeys on two par-five holes.
The 14-time major champion, now ranked 125th in the world, had never before had two double bogeys at par-fives in the same round, and the disappointed superstar departed the course without discussing his day.
After making the cut with a birdie at the last hole on Friday, Woods was in trouble early at the par-five second, where his tee shot hit a tree and the ground barely 100 yards out from the tee.
He was in a bunker with his third shot and over the green with his fourth en route to a double bogey.
After a bogey and birdie at the sixth and seventh, Woods needed three chips to from about 20 feet out to reach the green for a second double bogey.
He pulled one stroke back with a birdie at the par-five 11th, but by then the damage was done.
"It's hard to score when you double two par-fives, obviously," said Canadian Graham DeLaet, who played alongside Woods.
Woods is playing just his fourth tournament of the year and his first since a tie for 17th at the Masters.
Augusta National marked his return to competition after a two-month break to shore up his game after a disastrous start to the season.
He missed the cut in the Phoenix Open - shooting a career-worst 82 - and pulled out after 11 holes of the second round at Torrey Pines with a sore back.
Although he owns two Players Championship titles - the most recent coming in 2013 - Woods acknowledged before the tournament that this was a tough time of year for him - with the anniversary of the death of his father and mentor, Earl Woods, falling on May 3.
In addition this year, Woods and girlfriend Lindsey Vonn announced this week that they had split, blaming hectic schedules that kept them apart too much.
Woods will be hoping to salvage the week with a solid final round on Sunday.