Inside Tiger Woods' big third-round push at The Open

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Tiger Woods started the day on the periphery at The Open. He was six shots back of 54-hole co-leaders Kevin Kisner and Zach Johnson. He was in the mix, but he wasn't. He had a lot of ground to make up at Carnoustie. He needed a low round to really be in the conversation. There was hope. After all, coming into this Saturday at The Open, he was ranked No. 1 on the PGA Tour in third-round scoring.

What followed was 18 holes that brought reminders of the old days, when Woods charged up the leaderboard and the entire field -- and everyone in attendance, watching at home and wandering the Internet -- took notice.

No. 1, Par 4, 396 Yards

Woods leaves his tee shot short of the bunker up the right side of the fairway. But he cannot take advantage of having a short-iron approach, pulling it left. Needing to get up-and-down to avoid opening with a demoralizing bogey -- which would have been costly given he started the day six shots back and Carnoustie was already proving it was playing as easy as it had all week -- Woods rolls home a 10-footer to save both par and momentum.

Score: Par | Total: Even

No. 2, Par 4, 461 Yards

On Friday, Woods played conservatively, leaving himself 220 yards for his second shot. He wasn't playing conservatively Saturday, hammering one 312 yards to leave himself another short iron. He can't roll in the 16-footer for birdie.

Score: Par | Total: Even

No. 3, Par 4, 350 Yards

Another solid tee shot up the left side gives Woods a great angle to be aggressive. But the approach doesn't get all the way back to the hole, leaving Woods a sizable birdie putt. He two-putts from 33 feet for a third consecutive par.

Score: Par | Total: Even

No. 4, Par 4, 415 yards

Needing to get something going, Woods hits another perfect tee shot followed by another solid short iron. This time he converts, hitting his third shot to 10 feet and then holing the putt for his first birdie of the day.

Score: Birdie | Total: 1 under

No. 5, Par 4, 412 yards

Despite playing aggressively early, Woods opts to play it safe off the tee at No. 5, hitting iron to the left side of the fairway to leave himself 185 yards to the hole. A safe approach to the green is followed by a two-putt par.

Score: Par | Total: 1 under

No. 6, Par 5, 508 yards

Carnoustie's par 5s have been playing easy all week. It is time for Woods to take advantage. Woods, after using driver off the tee, reaches the green in two, leaving himself about 100 feet for eagle. A two-putt gets him the birdie he needs at the par 5.

Score: Birdie |  Total: 2 under

No. 7, Par 4, 410 yards

A pinpoint iron off the tee. Woods, occasionally wild off the tee, was strong in his third round. With 170 yards to the hole, Woods gives himself a chance for another birdie. He cannot convert the 18-footer, settling for par. That is a missed opportunity as he tries to get closer to the leaders.

Score: Par | Total: 2 under

No. 8, Par 3, 187 yards

A poor shot misses the green short, requiring another up-and-down like the one he had to make at the first to save both par and momentum once again. The long putt from off the green is right on line. As the ball approaches the hole, Woods takes a few steps, ready to unleash a patented fist pump. The ball stops an inch short.

Score: Par | Total: 2 under

No. 9, Par 4, 474 yards

Woods hit iron off the tee on Friday. He isn't going to hit iron off the tee on Saturday. On Friday, his tee shot went 247 yards and left him with 212 yards to the hole. With driver in hand Saturday, Woods pounds one down the left side, knocking it 40 yards past where he did on Friday. He hits what he would consider a disappointing second shot, one that has him staring at a 45-footer for birdie. That is when everything turns. Woods rolls that one in, a fist pump accompanying it as he walks to pick the ball out of the hole.

Score: Birdie | Total: 3 under

No. 10, Par 4, 465 yards

A good front nine, so maybe Woods would ease into the back side? No way. Woods pounds a driver down the middle of the fairway and then nearly holes out his second shot. He taps in the 1-footer for his second straight birdie.

Score: Birdie | Total: 4 under

No. 11, Par 4, 382 yards

Woods goes with driver again after going with iron the day before. Sensing a theme? This one goes 363 yards -- yes, 363 yards -- and nearly comes to a stop on the green. He gets up and down again, though this time not for a par but for a third consecutive birdie.

Score: Birdie | Total: 5 under

No. 12, Par 4, 503 yards

Despite its length, Woods opts to go conservative off the tee. He leaves himself 261 yards to the hole on his second shot after hitting his tee shot just 240. The 12th was the hardest hole on the course on Saturday, playing nearly a half-shot over par. Woods navigates his way home, hitting a safe approach to 32 feet and then two-putting for par.

Score: Par | Total: 5 under

No. 13, Par 3, 175 yards

A safe tee shot gives Woods another look at another birdie. Facing a 30-footer for birdie, Woods settles again for a two-putt par to stay bogey-free.

Score: Par | Total: 5 under

No. 14, Par 5, 513 yards

The par 5 is an important hole for the field, given the difficulty of the four closing holes. Woods steps to the tee knowing he will need a birdie or he will likely lose distance to the field later in the day. He laid back a bit on Friday, hitting his tee shot just 260. On Saturday, it is driver, and it travels 309 yards. With 220 yards to the hole, Woods gives himself a chance at eagle. He finds the green with his second shot, the ball settling 60 feet from the hole. Another two-putt gives him another birdie. For the first time since 2012, Tiger Woods is tied for the lead in a major in the third round.

Score: Birdie | Total: 6 under

No. 15, Par 4, 472 yards

Woods hits another perfect tee shot and another solid approach, setting up another two-putt par. Then it is on to the most difficult part of the course, the daunting final three holes at Carnoustie.

Score: Par | Total: 6 under

No. 16, Par 3, 248 yards

Woods misses the green on the monstrous par 3. All day he found a way to get up and down -- sometimes for par, sometimes for birdie. This time, facing a 13-footer for par, he can't avoid bogey. The putt slides by the hole.

Score: Bogey | Total: 5 under

No. 17, Par 4, 460 yards

The 17th hole has been causing players fits all week. But Woods hits a perfect iron off the tee and another solid second shot, leaving himself a makeable birdie putt to erase the bogey at No. 16. The 30-footer slides by on the side, and Woods is forced to tap in for par.

Score: Par | Total: 5 under

No. 18, Par 4, 499 yards

Play it safe. Hit in the fairway. Make a par. Move on. Easy, right? Sure, since Woods decided to hit an iron off the tee to make sure there was no drama. Except he pulls it down the left side and narrowly misses dunking it in Barry Burn. Sitting in the deep rough, Woods chops his ball into the fairway, short of where the burn runs in front of the green. Left with 84 yards for his third shot, Woods hits a perfect wedge, leaving himself 10 feet to save par. 

He knocks it in to finish off a six-birdie, one-bogey round.

Score: Par | Total: 5 under