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Tiger Woods falls out of U.S. Open contention after shooting 71 at Pebble Beach  1 Month ago

Source:   USA Today  

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Tiger Woods closed with a tap-in birdie for a respectable even-par 71 Saturday, but he's officially out of the mix after Round 3 of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Woods' day got off to a tough start when he missed the fairway at No. 1 for the first time this week with an iron. His ball settled in the left rough and he couldn't reach the green from there, failing to get up and down and carding an opening bogey.

"I got off to a crap start," Woods said. "I had to try to fight back and claw out a round today, which I was able to do."

Overall it was another good day for Woods off the tee and another rough one with the irons. He missed the green on No. 3 from just 120 yards out and added another bogey there. His tee shot was well long of the 98-yard par-3 seventh and Woods three-putted from there, missing a short one for his third and final bogey on the front nine.

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"I got off to an awful start, and clawed it around, but still gave myself a chance for tomorrow, which is positive," Woods said. "And we'll see what the weather forecast is for tomorrow. There are a lot of guys ahead of me right now. Seems like everyone is doing what I was supposed to do earlier, which is play 2- to 4-under par through the first seven. We'll see what they do coming in."

Woods also picked up steam at times, including back-to-back birdies at the fourth and the par-3 fifth, where he drained a 24-footer. Woods also dropped a 27-footer for birdie at the par-4 16th, but he wasn't able to take advantage of some of his best irons shots.

Woods stuck it to 10 feet at the par-3 17th but missed the 10-footer for birdie.

It was a far more eventful showing from Woods than we've seen the past two days, but it didn't change the bottom line. He's not hitting it close enough with his irons and he's not making enough putts when he does.

"I think they did a great job of setting it up so that we can make birdies," Woods said. "And if you do miss them in the wrong spot then you still can get up and down here, which is not always the case."

Saturday's third round was all over the place and most encouraging for the fact that Woods was able to put some birdies on the card - he made five of them in Round 3 and just four total in Rounds 1-2.

Woods also ended things on a high note at the par-5 18th, reaching the green in two after smoking a fairway wood to the front of the green. That left an easy two-putt birdie and a bit of momentum going into Sunday, with conditions looking tougher than they've been the first two days.

"I've had my chances to post good rounds today, this week," Woods said. "Today was a perfect example, I fought back and if I (would have been) able to clean up my rounds the first two days, I would be closer to the lead than I am now."

It hasn't been Woods' best week by a long shot, but Saturday he proved he'll still fight to the finish.

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