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Tiger: I'm so close to turning it around

The dream showdown between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy was put on hold as both drifted down the field on day three of the Masters.

Image: Charlie Riedel/AP/Press Association ImagesCharlie Riedel/AP/Press Association Images

FORMER WORLD NUMBER one Tiger Woods cut a frustrated figure again after failing to fire in the third round of the US Masters.

Woods, 36, is a four-time winner of the illustrious competition at Augusta National Golf Club, but he could only manage an even-par 72 on Saturday, leaving him three over for the tournament and effectively out of contention at tied 38th on the leaderboard.

Woods has not added to his tally of 14 major championship victories since 2008 due to a succession of injury problems and loss of form.

He won on the US PGA Tour last month for the first time in three years, and a large slice of his frustration at Augusta is due to his failure to reproduce that form on the biggest stage.

“It’s so frustrating because I’m so close to doing it,” he said. ”I’m so close to turning it around.”

Woods was two under through the first four holes on Saturday, but then carded two bogeys in quick succession to reach the turn level. He was far more consistent on the way in, carding nine pars in succession, but proved unable to capitalise on scoring opportunities.\

“It was just one thing after another,” Woods said. ”So you have got to be patient, which I was today.”

Television coverage picked up Woods audibly swearing after some mishits on Saturday, a day after he kicked his nine iron on the par-three 16th.

“I apologize if I offended anybody by that,” he said, referring to the bad language.

I certainly heard that people didn’t like me kicking the club, but I didn’t like it either. I hit it right in the bunker and (it) didn’t feel good on my toe, either.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy also struggled on Saturday, as a five-over 77 saw him drop back to tied 27th.

“I just couldn’t hit any fairways,” he said. ”When you can’t hit fairways around here you make life a lot more difficult for yourself.

Making double (bogey) on seven and then another six on eight really knocked everything out of me and it was hard to get any momentum going after that.

Asked about a hug with playing partner Sergio Garcia at the 12th hole, McIlroy said: “That was both of our first birdies of the day, so we needed to feel a little love from someone out there.

“It was a nice moment in the round filled with not too good moments.”

Swede Peter Hanson leads the Masters at nine under, one shot ahead of 2010 winner Phil Mickelson.

Hanson gets to 9 under for lead at Masters

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