Tiger Woods endured a torrid third round in the PGA Championship on Saturday.
The sporting legend has remarkably fought back from his serious car accident in Los Angeles last year to compete in the very tournament that he won in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007.
However, there could simply be no escaping the reality that all the injuries that Woods has accrued in recent years were taking their toll as he prowled the fairways and greens at Southern Hills.
A tough third round for Woods
The 46-year-old had to dig deep to even make the cut as he qualified for Saturday’s play by a single shot, successfully playing the final seven holes of his second round at two under par.
But keeping up that momentum in the third round proved to be a bridge too far for Woods, who proceeded to post his worst ever score at the PGA Championship.
The American found the water on numerous occasions with the sixth hole proving particularly troublesome, culminating in a shocking triple-bogey after having to play from the drop zone.
Tiger Woods' approach shot on No. 9 got stuck just above the lip of this bunker.— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) May 21, 2022
He was entitled to relief due to an embedded ball and made bogey on the hole.
Stream his round now ➡️ https://t.co/OEissBcuzw pic.twitter.com/CwAdGMCaQJ
Woods had to play his final four holes in one under just to break 80 having recorded five bogeys on the bounce in a major for the first time in his professional career.
Woods visibly struggling
However, perhaps most worrying of all was how Woods seemed to be visibly struggling at times with many onlookers expressing their concern as he continued to battle on in Oklahoma.
Gary Lineker tweeted: “Difficult to watch @TigerWoods struggle and hobble around the golf course. At the same time, though, it’s inspiring to witness his incredible mentality. He never, ever gives up. The fact he’s out there and made the cut is in itself miraculous.”
While Piers Morgan posted: “Painful to watch @TigerWoods struggling so much physically out there today but his mental strength to even want to put himself through such obvious discomfort is just incredible.
“He doesn’t need the money, trophy or fame.. he just hates quitting as much as he loves winning. #pga.”
Uncomfortable to watch. Anyone who has had a dodgy knee will know that pain and complete lack of trust pic.twitter.com/wC5obIJ7tr— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) May 21, 2022
There are now even doubts as to whether or not Woods will even compete in the final round with the man himself proving fully aware of the trials and tribulations that he went through on Saturday.
According to the Independent, Woods reflected by saying: “I just didn’t play well. I didn’t hit the ball very well and got off to not the start I needed to get off to.
“I thought I hit a good tee shot down two and ended up in the water, and just never really got any kind of momentum on my side.”
And when asked if he would be playing in Sunday’s final round, the golfing icon replied: “Well, I’m sore. I know that is for a fact. We’ll do some work and see how it goes.”
All in all, the scenes at the PGA Championship made for a cocktail of emotions where fans were simultaneously concerned for Woods and incredibly proud of his perseverance through the pain.
We can all only hope that Woods can recover to a stage where he can enjoy the sport that he loves so dearly without having to worry about putting his body through hell in the process.