If it was anybody else, it would be an absolute disaster. We're talking serious "not-top ten" material. If it were anyone else, he would be forever emblemized in golf folly lore. It would be forever known as "shooting a (insert name here)"
But for Tiger Woods, a round in which everything seemed to go comically wrong turned into a seven under 65 and sole possession of the lead in the Buick Open.
Where to begin? Well, Tiger drove his tee shot onto adjacent fairways two separate times. He hit a spectator's beer. He was seemingly bothered by an insect. That sounds like a round that would rival John Daily's atrocious 88 in the second round this week.
But that's precisely what makes Tiger Tiger. When Woods is on, he doesn't make lemonade out of lemons, he makes fine wine out of them. This was seen in the 2008 U.S Open when he shot a ball off the cart path that will live in golf lore forever. He hit some similar shots yesterday.
At 13, he shot a fantastic approach shot that led to a birdie. Doesn't seem that impressive? What if I told you that the approach shot came from the fairway at four?
So yes, Tigers recent problems off the tee returned today. But he didn't let it effect him. I have a feeling that this is the beginning of a long "in the zone" period for him. Despite a sometimes frustrating day, he still made eight birdies in the third round and bogeyed only one hole (number 8).
For a while, it looked like Tiger would have to wait for Sunday to make his final move towards sole possession of first. Michael Letzig was holding his own. Through 17, Letzig had bogeyed only one hole and birdied seven. It was a round that was shaping up to be better then Tiger's.
But then, like many who panic at the site of a tiger making ground their rear view mirror, Letzig panicked. After failing to get his green side bunker shot past the lip, Letzig double bogeyed 18. This moved him one back of Tiger.
Looking for a non-Tiger story line for Sunday? How about Michael Letzig. Will his double bogey on 18 follow him around his front 9 tomorrow like the ghost of a disliked relative? Or will he be able to choke his follies at 18 up to one bad hole and start anew. After all, he was tearing up the course through the first 17.
One thing that works against Letzig is his inexperience playing at the top on Sunday. His best finish this season came at the RBC Canadian Open when he tied for 8th. Prior to that, he had finished in the top 20 only twice this year. He said all the right things in his post-round presser about forgetting what happened at 18 and realizing he's one shot off, but I'm not so sure it's that easy.
Especially when the man your chasing is a Tiger Woods who has looked possessed in the last two rounds.