“I didn’t make anything [Saturday],” Woods said. “I just couldn’t get a feel for them. Some putts were slow, some putts were fast, and I had a tough time getting the speed. It is certainly frustrating because I certainly was feeling like I was playing well this week. … I’m playing well enough to do it and unfortunately just haven’t gotten it done.”
Rory McIlroy, No.2 in the world who has played with Woods each of the first three days, was not much better. After starting the day only four shots out of the lead, the lad from Northern Ireland soared to a 75 and was also out of contention at 218, continuing his still-winless, mediocre 2013 play.
“If you’re not on your game a hundred percent, you get on the wrong side of the greens and it’s just frightening because I didn’t feel like I played too badly,” he said. “I’ve had too many tournaments this year where I’ve struggled in one round or a couple of rounds and not been able to put it all together. I don’t feel like it’s too far away at all. It’s just a matter of believing and staying patient and working hard and knowing that you work on the right thing, you’re going to turn it around.”
Mickelson clearly turned it around on his back nine, with three birdies until that final bogey at the 18th. He hit a monster 274-yard 3-wood over the green into deep rough at 18, then left his chip from the strangling spinach 10 feet short. His par putt was a roll short of going in, but Mickelson clearly wasn’t dwelling on that when he walked off the course.
“It’s been so much fun [being in contention in so many past Opens],” Mickelson said. “Even if it’s been heartbreaking to come so close and let it slide. I feel very comfortable on this golf course. I feel as well-equipped as I can be going into [Sunday’s] round. It should be a fun day. … It’s got the makings to be something special, but I still have to go out there and play my best golf.”