Moving Day at the WGC-Cadillac Championship saw better weather than what players endured on Friday, and the scoring average improved by over 3.5 strokes. The low round of the day, a -6 under 66 was turned in by the defending champion, Tiger Woods. Second year PGA Tour player, Patrick Reed has a two shot lead over a couple grizzled veterans in Hunter Mahan, and 2013 PGA Champ, Jason Dufner. He is three strokes ahead of Tiger, and Welchman, Jamie Donaldson.
Even though the wind held off, and the scoring averages improved on the newly designed Trump International Doral Blue Monster, only one more player in the world-class field found their way under par. Four players were under par when they teed it up on Saturday, five will start under par on Sunday.
“It was nice to get back in the tournament again,” Woods said.
The lack of big wind certainly helped with scoring and attitudes on Saturday. The average scores was 72.6, compared with 76.0 in the second round, allowing for plenty of movement on the leaderboard on a sunny afternoon in Miami. A dozen players were within five shots of the lead.
“Now it’s playing more like a normal course,” Woods said.
Before we get too excited, Tiger played well on Saturday last week at the Honda Classic, and ended up leaving the course on the 13th hole with back spasms. After shooting the low round of the day, he will be in the next to last group on Sunday, and paired with Hunter Mahan. This will be the first time since the new season began that the World’s Number one will start a Sunday this close to the lead.
For the first time this year, Tiger found some fairways in the third round, and his distance control into these new greens was superb on Saturday. He hit almost 55% of the fairways and getting on the greens in regulation at a 61% clip. Although his putter warmed substantially, the major reason Tiger moved up 21 spots on the leaderboard was, he didn’t make the big mistake that many of the players made, and found one of the many water hazards around the course.
Patrick Reed will have that familiar Sunday Red and Black uniform in the group just ahead of him, as he tries to win the biggest tournament of his life, so he will know all day, what he is going to need to do if he wants that huge payday, and those 550 FedEx Cup Points.
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