Woods made a 25-foot birdie putt from the fringe on his final hole of the second round that assured he would make the cut-he ultimately made it with one shot to spare-and then he made Riviera rock with his start to the third round.
Still, Woods will need to continue at that torrid pace if he hopes to close the gap and end a victory drought at Riviera that stretches back two and a half decades. Scott missed his eagle attempt on the par-5 opening hole. He drilled the putt to quickly drop to 4-under for the tournament.
He cooled a bit on his final three holes before play was suspended for darkness, with three consecutive pars.
As he prepared for all the post-round responsibilities that come with being Tiger Woods and the tournament host-an interview with CBS, then another with Sky Sports, then one more for good measure with a scrum of scribes, then participating in the trophy ceremony-Woods sat on the front of a parked golf cart, coffee in hand, treasuring each and every fleeting moment of rest.
Meanwhile, Justin Thomas, who is seeking the 10th win of his PGA TOUR career, was at 13 under and has a one-shot lead over playing partner Adam Scott, with Patrick Rodgers and J B Holmes another shot back.
"I made some putts and didn't have four three-putts out there, so that was a positive", Woods said afterwards. 'It was just a long week, and eventually I made a few bad swings.
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The 14-time major champion opened the third round by birdieing three of his first four holes.
The third round was set to resume at 6:45 am (1445 GMT), as organizers pushed to complete a tournament that lost seven hours to a rain delay on Thursday. The top 24 players qualified for the final-round match play, which consists of a series of elimination six-hole shootouts. I've got to get up and down at 17. He walked gingerly, and made no secret he was looking forward to not swinging a golf club on Monday.
"I couldn't feel my toes", Thomas said of the cold that greeted the early starters.
He returned at the crack of dawn early Saturday morning and promptly bogeyed the 4th to put himself outside the projected cut line.
Last year, Woods missed the cut at Riviera, and now he is about to embark on a stretch during which he should be able to find some form, first at the limited-field Mexico event and then likely at places such as Bay Hill and the Players Championship, where he has had success. "Those clubs aren't coming out of the travel case".
For the week, Woods hit 36 of 56 fairways and ranked 12th in strokes gained off the tee. "We've got to get in basically two solid rounds tomorrow, so they're going to be pushing us to get through it. Give us a bag lunch, and off we go again in the afternoon". "Somehow we got 72 holes in".