LA JOLLA (AFP) - Tiger Woods, playing the weekend at a US PGA Tour event for the first time since 2015, was grinding again on Saturday (Jan 27) in the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
Woods was one-under for the day after three birdies and two bogeys through his first nine holes on the Torrey Pines South Course, where his eight victories include his 14th and most recent major title at the 2008 US Open.
That left him two-under for the tournament and 10 shots behind leader Ryan Palmer.
Woods teed off on the 10th hole and as on Friday struggled off the tee, finding just one of seven fairways in his first nine holes.
He produced some sensational recovery shots and solid putting to keep himself under par.
That included a 10-footer to save par at his opening hole. He followed a bogey at 11 with back-to-back birdies, draining putts of eight and 15 feet.
At 16 his putt to save par from a bunker stopped on the lip, but he pulled that shot back with an 11-foot birdie at 18 to draw a roar from the boisterous gallery following his every move.
Overnight leader Palmer, in contrast, opened his round in relative quiet, building on his lead with a birdie at the fifth that moved him to 12-under for the tournament through 6 holes.
Luke List was 11-under through six and former world number one Jason Day of Australia - who rocketed up the leaderboard on Friday with an eight-under 64 - headed a group on 10-under.
Defending champion Jon Rahm, who could seize the world number one ranking with a victory, followed his opening birdie with three straight bogeys to slide back.
Woods's return to the PGA Tour for the first time since he missed the cut at Torrey Pines last year has overshadowed Rahm's number one quest.
Woods hadn't made the cut in a US tour event since a tie for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in August of 2015 and his comeback bid last year was cut short by recurring back pain and spinal fusion surgery in April.