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Gary Woodland takes wild ride in Round 3 at TPC Southwind in Memphis


I finally have accepted that screaming at my TV isn’t going to make the networks show Gary Woodland more frequently, so I have turned off the TV and turned on my iPhone.

Go to PGAtour.com’s mobile site, find Woodland on the leaderboard, click “play by play” and “expand all” and every shot he hit that day is described. Each shot is posted within minutes, sometimes seconds.

Woodland’s third round Saturday in the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis had to be one of the wildest rides any player has had in any tournament this season.

Woodland started the day tied for 61st at 1-over par and finished his round at 1-over, 2-over for the tournament. Yet, it’s how he arrived at his 71 that was so amazing.

According to pgatour.com’s mobile site, here’s what happened:

Woodland made an 18-footer on No. 1 for birdie, a 6-footer for birdie on No. 3, and a 16-foot birdie putt on No. 5. On No. 6, he slammed his drive 319 yards into the right rough and holed out from 136 yards for an eagle, putting him 5-under six holes into the day, and 4-under for the tournament. After a bogey on No. 8, Woodland made a 21-foot birdie putt on No. 9 to get back to 5-under for the day.

After a par on 10, the wheels flew off and he lost six strokes to par on the final eight holes. On No. 11, a 162-yard par-3, Woodland hit his tee shot into the water, dropped and hit the next one into a left rear green-side bunker. He put his sand shot two feet from the hole and made the putt for a double-bogey.

Woodland encountered more trouble on No. 14, a 239-yard par 3. He again carded a double-bogey 5. His tee shot landed in the left rear green-side bunker. Here’s where it gets a little tricky following a golfer on your phone: The play-by-play account said he hit his next shot into the left rear green-side bunker. There are two bunkers behind the green. So did he not get it out of the bunker he was in and hit into the other or stay in the same trap? My best guess is he didn’t get out because the other bunker would better be described as middle than left. That was his final par 3 hole of the day, leaving him five-over par on the course’s four shortest holes. He carded bogey on 17 and 18, both par 4 holes, encountering sand trouble on 17 and water trouble on 18.

Woodland made just eight pars to go with an eagle, four birdies, three bogeys and two double-bogeys to score 30-41 71.

Woodland’s inconsistency is understandable. He didn’t get to practice as often as he wanted to early in the season because of a wrist injury. Despite all the ups and downs, Woodland has managed to make the cut in nine consecutive tournaments, a good sign that he will be on the tour for a long time. Anyone who cards as many under-par holes as Woodland is a threat to contend often, provided he can stay healthy, which will allow him to adhere to his extensive practice routine.


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