POTOMAC, MD. — Tiger Woods ran off four straight birdies and finished the front nine with seven consecutive one-putt greens. Unlike Francesco Molinari and Abraham Ancer, he couldn’t keep it going Saturday in the Quicken Loans National.
Ancer and Molinari each handled the scorching heat on the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm and shared the lead going into the final round.
Ancer birdied two of his last three holes for the lowest score of his career, an 8-under 62, giving the 27-year-old Mexican his best shot at a first PGA Tour victory. Ancer has never been in the top 10 going into the final round in 22 previous starts.
Molinari also is going for his first official PGA Tour victory, though that comes with an asterisk. He won a World Golf Championship in Shanghai in 2010, though the PGA Tour did not recognize the HSBC Champions as an official win until a year later.
They were at 13-under 197, two shots clear of Ryan Armour (68) and Zac Blair (66).
Woods was six shots behind, the seventh straight tournament he has been at least five shots behind going into the final round. It sure didn’t sound that way, and for most of the round, it didn’t look that way.
With his fifth birdie of the front nine, Woods was one shot out of the lead. And then he opened the back nine with a pair of birdie chances just inside 10 feet and missed them both. He never really regained his momentum, finished with another bogey and shot 68.
Considering the scoring average was 69.6 in the third round, he wound up losing two shots to the lead.