"You play sit there and play mental games with yourself, subconsciously saying, 'You can't do this". The back nine, however, was when Woods was dialed in. He will be in the final group for the first time in almost four years as he tries to win for the first time since a back injury two years ago. "If they have a birdie, I've got to try and somehow make a birdie to extend it".
The Australian finished 12 strokes under par for the tournament, two strokes ahead of Aaron Wise in second place. Peter Uihlien shot a 62 to meet up with Bryson DeChambeau and Paul Casey in a three-way tie for third at 7 under.
After starting the day seven behind leader Jason Day, McIlroy was unable to mount a final-day charge as he mixed three birdies with as many bogeys.
"I had no idea where the ball was going today, especially off the tee", Day said afterward.
"One of the best wins I have ever had ..."
When Jason Day was 14 years old he walked into Colin Swatton's office and asked a question few 14-year-olds would even consider.
Sung Hyun Park and Jenny Shin finished the rain-delayed first round of the abbreviated LPGA Texas Classic on Saturday with six-under 65s to share a one-stroke lead. "The back side was definitely a lot more gettable today, obviously showcased with a number of guys going low on the back side".
Day will tell you that 2017 wasn't his best year, and not just because he failed to win on the PGA Tour for the first time in four years.
That got him to 5 under par and within two shots of the lead, but he didn't expect to stay there because of conditions. "The '97 Masters and the 2000 U.S. Open, I didn't miss one like that under 10 feet for the week", Woods said. "I didn't play that well". The last time he played Quail Hollow on a Saturday, he tried to play out of the trees and made an 8 that took him out of contention in the PGA Championship. You've got to plot your way around, and pars aren't so bad around there most of the time. "You're going to fail, you're going to fail, '" Day said. Uihlein still hasn't won on the PGA Tour.
"I'd like to be able to hit it a little bit straighter", he said.
A second Featured Group was also announced, consisting of reigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas, along with the last two FedExCup champs before him, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
As well as Woods is hitting the ball off the tee - he averaged 313 yards from the tee - he's not been accurate enough to give himself chances to hit it close.
"I feel like it's right on the end of the tip", he said, smiling and rubbing together the tips of his fingers.
Thinking for a moment that he had holed his birdie putt, he raised his putter in triumph, only to see the ball skirt by the edge and run several feet past.
Day made an early birdie at the second after hitting his approach to six feet but dropped shots at the fifth after finding a bunker and sixth having missed the green.
"I didn't putt well again", Woods said of his performance Sunday (via golf.com).
"I was so close to shooting about seven, eight-under today", he told reporters.
McIlroy hit a hot streak on the back nine making four consecutive birdies from the 14th to the 17th but could not maintain the momentum on the final hole to threaten the top ten, instead finishing with a bogey on the par four 18th. Save those last two holes, and vintage Tiger Woods carries some stream into the final round.