Tiger Woods Shoots Four-Under 67 At Genesis Invitational

The 15-time Major winner showed flashes of his imperious best in the third round at Riviera Country Club

Tiger Woods takes a shot during the 2023 Genesis Invitational
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following a stop-start 2022 when Tiger Woods played competitively just three times, the golf world eager to observe how he was progressing from his injury troubles during this week's Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club

There was encouragement during the first two days, including three birdies to finish his opening round on Thursday. Despite that effort, Friday’s second round was a more laboured affair, with his 74 just enough to make the cut for the weekend. 

However, if there were still doubts concerning Woods' ability to compete with the very best, they were put to bed during Saturday’s third round when he carded a four-under 67. That included a fabulous eagle on his 10th hole of the day, along with three birdies and just one bogey to leave him tied for 26th going into the Sunday's final round.

After finishing with a par, Woods admitted that his best round in the 12 played since his comeback at The Masters last April left him satisfied, with his putting the main improvement. He said: “Today was better. I felt like I made some nice adjustments with my putting and that was the thing that held make back yesterday. I've driven it well the last three days, my iron play was been good. And the firm conditions I like, that's kind of right up my alley with iron play. Just wish I could have putted a little bit better yesterday. I made a few adjustments today and some of the putts went in.”

One of Woods’ appearances in 2022, the PGA Championship, saw him withdraw after the third round with his leg injury still bothering him. Later in the year, he developed plantar fasciitis, which meant he sat out the Hero World Challenge. Still, there is no intention of withdrawing after the third round this week. Nevertheless, he admitted he’s still sore. He said: “Well, there's aches and pains and swelling. I still have that heel issue, that's why I didn't play in the Bahamas. Yeah, so I've stopped walking now, it's a little sore right now.”

Despite that, Woods said he’s stronger now than he was a year ago. He explained: “My core is so much stronger than it was then. That's one of the reasons why I've got the speed that I have. I can't use the ground like I used to and explode, I have to use my core to get speed. I've always had speed, but I've had to use it a different way but also be careful with my back being fused. Just had to find different ways to do it. It's a challenge and that's the fun part about it.”

Woods admitted that it is too early to say whether he will play another tournament before this year’s Augusta National Major. He said: “I don't know about that. Right now I've got to recover for tomorrow. I'm a little bit on the sore side, so let's just recover, figure out tomorrow and hopefully shoot a low one.”

Whatever the final round brings, there is no doubt that, on Saturday, Woods gave fans a welcome reminder of just how good he can be, and, just maybe, a tantalising glimpse into what may still be ahead. 

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.