CHARLOTTE, N.C. – He posted his first sub-70 round at Quail Hollow since 2009 and was markedly better on the greens, but Tiger Woods’ 68 had the feeling of being too little, too late at the Wells Fargo Championship. Some thoughts from Day 3:
• Yes, 31 putts are better than his 33 putts on Day 2 (that’s math), and he certainly converted a couple that weren’t there on Thursday and Friday, but it still didn’t seem like he’d found the answer.
• Lot of talk this week about Tiger’s new irons, the TaylorMade TW-Phase 1’s, and he said he’s been able to control his golf ball better and spin it more thanks to the new grooves. As an aside, he explained that he switches his wedges out every week and a half. Yeah, just like Tracker.
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• Tiger credited his improvement on the greens to a slight adjustment to his putting stroke. “Went a little more old school, how I used to putt, a little more handsy, a little more wristy, and the toe moving a lot more, and it worked,” he said.
• Tiger has converted 50 of 61 of his putts from 10 feet and in this week. “When I’m putting well, I don’t feel like I should miss a putt inside 10 feet,” he said. “I had a couple weeks like that. The ’97 Masters and the 2000 U.S. Open, I didn’t miss one like that under 10 feet for the week.”
• The highlight of Saturday’s round came at the par-4 14th hole, when Tiger laced a 3-wood 329 yards onto the green. Yep, speed and velocity are back.
• It was encouraging for Tiger to get a round in red numbers at Quail Hollow, but it does come with an asterisk. Saturday’s scoring average was 70.31, more than two strokes lower than Day 1. It’s all relative.