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The Masters: Tiger Woods struggles to third-round 78 after poor putting display at Augusta National

Woods' slim hopes of a winning comeback and 16th major title were ended with a third-round 78; watch the final round of The Masters exclusively live on Sunday on Sky Sports Golf, with bonus feeds via the red button from 3pm

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Five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods says that the conditions during his third round were 'up there' with the toughest conditions he has seen at Augusta National

Tiger Woods experienced a day to forget on the greens at Augusta National as he posted his worst round of his long Masters career.

The world No 973, playing in his first competitive event back since last February's career-threatening car crash, was nine behind halfway leader Scottie Scheffler but quickly dropped further down the leaderboard in cold and breezy conditions.

Woods sat bottom of the putting statistics after carding a four-putt and four three-putts during a six-over 78 on Saturday, with the 15-time major champion dropping four shots over his closing three holes to slip tied-41st of the 52 players making it through to the weekend.

Tiger Woods day three Masters
Image: Woods last played in an official world ranking event at The Masters in November 2020

"Today was a challenge with the conditions," Woods said. "The conditions were tough today. They were tough yesterday starting out, but at least we got a little bit of a lull at the end.

"Today it has just been blustery all day. You add in the temperature difference, it was cold starting out. The ball wasn't going very far. I thought it was tough. Some of the other guys may not say that, but for me, I had a tough time.

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Woods' hopes of claiming a sixth Masters evaporated on the fifth with a horrible four-putt double-bogey

"I felt like I didn't really hit it that bad, but I had four three-putts and a four-putt. Obviously, it has affected the score. You take those away and I have normal two putts, I made even par for the day. I did what I needed to do ball striking-wise, but I did absolutely the exact opposite on the greens."

Woods bounced back from bogeying the opening hole for the second day running to birdie the par-five next, with the 46-year-old getting up and down from over a bunker to save par at the fourth but then taking four putts - including three from six feet - to double-bogey the par-four next.

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The former world No 1 scrambled to make back-to-back par-saves from the sixth but then missed from six feet to save par at the ninth, with Woods failing to convert from a similar distancing and dropping another shot at the 11th.

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Woods responded by rolling in from 15 feet at the par-three 12th and making a two-putt birdie at the par-five next, only to begin a frustrating finish with back-to-back three-putt bogeys from the 16th.

The five-time Masters champion then missed the final green with his approach and three-putted from 50 feet for a closing double-bogey, with the highest total in 93 Masters rounds leaving Woods seven over for the tournament.

Watch the final round of the 86th Masters exclusively live on Sky Sports. Live coverage of the final round begins on Sunday from 3pm on Sky Sports Golf, with additional feeds and bonus action available via the red button.

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