It was Woods’ shot on the 13th hole at the Riviera Country Club that veered off to the right and somehow found its way into a fan’s jacket.
“All of a sudden he hit, and nobody knows where it went,” the fan later told the PGA Tour. “I looked and I had this bump in my pocket, you know my jacket which I had wrapped around … and I pulled it off and a ball dropped off and it was his.”
After receiving a free ball drop, Woods went on to save par. He had earlier hit an eagle on his 1st hole, his first since the 2020 Genesis Invitational.
He ended the round with an impressive four-under 67, shooting three birdies and an eagle for his best round of the week and the third-lowest score of the day.
Woods was asked if his performance was the best since winning the Masters in 2019: “Yes, yes, it is. It’s the best I’ve played,” Woods told reporters.
A second-round 74 meant Woods had only just made the cut to compete in the final two rounds of a tournament for the first time since last year’s PGA Championship, which he withdrew from before the final round
After suffering serious leg injuries in a car accident two years ago, Woods has made sporadic competitive appearances as he battles with a grueling recovery process.
Playing at the Genesis Invitational this week marks his first official tournament start since The Open Championship in July and his first non-major PGA Tour event since the ZOZO Championship in October 2020.
“It’s just a matter of whether I can get from point A to point B,” Woods said Saturday, per the PGA Tour. “That’s been the struggle part of it. I can hit shots, I can hit balls on the range, I can chip, I can putt. It’s just getting from point A to point B has been the biggest challenge.”
“We’ll go ahead and reassess everything and see where we are, see how I recover from a full tournament,” Woods added. “I haven’t done this in a while. The last time I did it was at The Open Championship, so it’s been a while. Hopefully the body will still feel good sometime later next week. As of right now, recovery time will be fun.”
The 15-time major winner is three under par for the tournament, 12 shots off leader Jon Rahm who is on 15 under. The 47-year-old will tee off at 11:16am ET in the final round on Sunday.
He has had a controversial week in California. After his second round he said he was sorry “if I offended anybody” after being criticized for handing fellow golfer Justin Thomas a tampon during the first round.
“It was supposed to be all fun and games and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” Woods told reporters.