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Tiger struggles on the green

ST. LOUIS — Tiger Woods knew the shot was good. He struck it pure from 240 yards on the 17th hole and started strutting down the fairway, watching the ball land 20 feet from the pin — one good putt away from an eagle that would have vaulted him into second place.

And Woods knew the putt was bad. He muscled it 3 feet past the hole, then pulled the comebacker off line and, after settling for a disappointing par, he briefly grabbed the putter with both hands, as if to bend it, before deciding better of it.

That par was the most disappointing of the 10 straight Woods made to finish his third round Saturday at the PGA Championship. He shot 4-under 66 to reach 8 under. That was four back of leader Brooks Koepka — well within striking range, but not as good as it might’ve been.

“Could’ve been a little closer,” Woods said. “But I’ve got a shot going into tomorrow.”

For the third straight day at the wide-open, squishy Bellerive Country Club, Woods hit the ball well from tee to green — he hit 15 greens in regulation — and looked every bit the contender he was three weeks ago at the British Open, where the cheers seemed louder and more heartfelt than they’d been in the past.

It’s been much the same this week in St. Louis.

“Hearing the crowd, and Tiger’s performing great, it was like turning back the hands of the clock,” said Stewart Cink, who played with Woods and also shot 4 under to also finish four out of the lead.

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