AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods is in the final group at the Masters, courtesy of the toughest Saturday at Augusta National in more than 50 years and a series of collapses after he left the course with one of his own.
Stuart Appleby of Australia was atop the leaderboard after 54 holes, although he was more of a survivor on a day of frigid temperatures, swirling breezes and a relentless course that yielded only one round below par.
Appleby was the final player to succumb to par, taking triple bogey on the 17th hole when he drove into a bunker on the seventh green, hit another bunker on the hole he was playing and three-putted. He wound up with a 1-over 73.
One shot behind was Woods, who has played in the final group four times at the Masters, but never like this. For the first time in his 13 trips to Augusta National, he has failed to break par over any of the first three rounds. Woods had a chance until finishing bogey-bogey for a 72 that put him in the last group with Appleby.
Also one shot behind was Justin Rose, who twice missed par putts inside 4 feet over the final three holes for a 75.
Appleby was at 2-over 218, the highest score to ever lead the Masters going into the final round.
Retief Goosen was the only player to break par Saturday — a 2-under 70 that took him from last place to a tie for eighth.
On a day in which the wind chill never got higher than 47 degrees, the average score was 77.35. That's the highest for the third round since 1956, and the highest of any around since the course switched to Bentgrass greens in 1981.
"It was like trying to land a golf ball on your driveway, but your driveway has mounds on them and they stick the pin near the mounds," said Rich Beem, who had an early start and shot 75. "Sometimes you just have to giggle about it."