Woods on pace for historically bad finish

Tiger Woods tries to get an insect away from his ball before putting on the third hole during first...

Tiger Woods tries to get an insect away from his ball before putting on the third hole during first round play at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament in Akron, Ohio August 5, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 1:46 PM ET

AKRON, Oh. - Tiger Woods shot a five-over 75 on Saturday and is now 11-over par through three rounds of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods, a seven-time winner of this championship, is in 78th place out of 80 players left in the field and is on pace for a historically bad week.

The third round has a way to go, but assuming a majority of the field doesn't drop far enough, Woods is probably locked into that 78th place. That would be his worst position after 54 holes in a PGA Tour event since he turned professional in 1996. His previous worst was a tie for 71st at the 2005 Players Championship.

Woods' 11-over par score is also his worst 54-hole score in relation to par since he turned professional. At the Tour Championship in both 1996 and 1998, Woods was 10-over par after three rounds.

Woods has yet to break par this week and there have only been three tournaments where he didn't break par in one of his four rounds. The previous three were all major championships.

It's been a bad season for Woods, but this sort of week at this tournament is shocking. Woods' over-par round on Saturday was just his seventh ever at this championship and two of those previous six were on Thursday and Friday. Woods' worst position after 54 holes at the Bridgestone Invitational was a tie for fourth in 2002 and 2003 and the '02 event was the only one not staged at Firestone.

What's perhaps even more jolting is what can happen on Sunday.

Woods is well on the way to his worst finish as a professional in an event where he played four rounds. Woods' poorest result in 72 holes was a tie for 60th at his first start as a professional, the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open.

To top off the horrendous news for Woods, it seems likely he will lose the No. 1 world ranking, which he's held since June of 2005. If Phil Mickelson, who's tied for second at the start of the third round, wins, he will be No. 1.

Also, if Mickelson finishes fourth or better and Woods is worse than 37th, Mickelson will be at the top of the world rankings Monday morning.


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