Former world number one Tiger Woods gained an unwanted record as he struggled to a third round of 75 in the Players Championship today.
Woods had made the halfway cut on the mark of level par, punching the air in delight after making a birdie on his final hole on Friday to scrape into the weekend.
The 14-time major winner insisted anyone who made the cut could still win the tournament, with Kevin Na and Jerry Kelly setting the pace on eight under and the 75-man field separated by just eight shots.
However, a front nine of 40 put paid to any faint hopes Woods add of winning a third title at Sawgrass and saw him record multiple double bogeys on par fives for the first time in his professional career.
Woods’s problems began on the par-five second, where his drive hit a tree and travelled just 105 yards. From there he found more rough and a fairway bunker before finally reaching the green in five shots and two-putting for a seven.
A bogey on the sixth was followed by a birdie on the seventh before Woods fluffed two chips from heavy rough on the ninth to run up another double bogey.
The back nine was far more straightforward with a birdie on the 11th and eight pars leaving Woods on three over par and in a tie for 70th with Padraig Harrington.
At the other end of the leaderboard, world number one Rory McIlroy made the ideal start with a birdie on the second that was matched by playing partner Billy Horschel, moving the pair to within three of the lead.
And Ian Poulter was also off to a flyer, birdies at the second and fourth taking Poulter to six under par.
Na and Kelly were still more an hour away from starting their rounds, but had seen a two-shot overnight lead cut to one by fellow American Justin Thomas, who had recorded eight birdies and two bogeys in his first 12 holes to reach seven under.