Tiger Woods was having a rough start to 2014 and the Cadillac Championship before March 8. Woods was only in range of the Cadillac leaderboard because everyone else struggled in rough conditions, although his +5 through 36 holes would be hard to overcome either way. Yet thanks to better conditions and putting in the third round, Woods made a good part of the deficit up and is in contention for the first time this season.
Thanks to eight birdies in the third round, Woods went from +5 to -1 overall with a 66 -- the low score for one round in the Cadillac Championship thus far. The leaderboard still has second-year player Patrick Reed on top at -4, yet all eyes are still on Woods, as always when he's even close to the lead on a weekend.
It took quite a lot for him to get that close, especially since his back problems made him iffy to play earlier this week. When he opened with a first round 76 over two days, it seemed he would struggle for his third straight tournament in 2014. Even a 91-foot birdie putt in the second round on March 7 didn't lift him up too much in the big picture.
Woods made more manageable birdie putts throughout the third round, although he ironically bogeyed the fourth hole a day after making his long putt on it. But bogeys on the fourth and 13'th hole were his only mistakes of the day.
Despite getting the low round of the Cadillac Championship, Woods wasn't the only one to excel in the third round, which is why he still has a long way to go. No one shot in the 60's a day earlier, yet the field finally found its footing to start the weekend.
Reed kept the lead with a 69 to get him to -4 overall, while Jason Dufner erased a second round 77 by shooting a 68 to reach a tie for second at -2. Hunter Mahan is also at -2 and will play with Woods in the second to last pairing of the final round.
The Cadillac Championship leaderboard no longer quite resembles the average U.S. Open, since several players may end up under par after all. Woods is now in position to be one of them, but for the first time in 2014, he is in range of something more.