Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Tiger Woods Commands the Crowd, and nearly the Course, at the Memorial

He finished in last place in 2015, the last time he was at Muirfield Village.

A flawless drive at the par-5 fifth left Woods in the center of the fairway, and he ripped a 237-yard iron shot to 13 feet for eagle and drained the putt.

Woods was 95 yards out on his third shot and the ball landed just long of the flag before spinning back into the cup.

"If I hit the ball like this on the weekend then I have a great chance of winning this tournament", said Woods, who has not won on the PGA Tour since 2013.

"I had 97 yards and normally it is a 60-degree sand-wedge for me but it was flawless with the slope there behind the flag so I took off about 15 yards on a 56 and I hit a little dead one in there", Woods said.

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A 90-minute weather day seemed to tiresome his momentum as the former world number one made pars on the next three holes but he snatched his fifth birdie at 15 before giving the shot back at the 17th to finish on a combined 139.

Symbolic of the new-age deeper pool of competition Woods must now deal with are the players above him on the leaderboard entering Sunday's final round.

Yet, his ball-striking was so good that he still fired a 5-under 67 to move into the fringe of contention. "It could have been easily a nice little 62 or 63", said Woods who finished the day with a five-under total of 139. Woods didn't let the frustration set in, though. Woods rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the next and made it an eagle-birdie-birdie stretch when he two-putted from 54 feet for birdie at the par-5 seventh. He was now 10 under and one back.

Tiger Woods ignited the crowd with a sensational hole out for eagle, but a storm delay dampened his charge at the Memorial where he was six shots behind halfway leaders Joaquin Niemann and Kyle Stanley. He had a very short putt to grab a share of the lead at the 12th, but burned the edge. He managed to advance his second way down the fairway but hit an indifferent wedge to about 20 feet, but he curled in a left-to-right birdie putt to tie the lead.

If he gets the putter working for a full round Sunday, that long-awaited victory may very well come his way.

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