PGA Championship: Tiger Woods regrets missed chances despite ‘clean’ four-under 66 at Bellerive

Woods, who had finished his interrupted second round at four under, carded a second successive four-under par 66 to finish the day at eight under, with his third round total being his best in a major since 2006.

The four-time champion made five birdies during the front nine including three successive gains from the seventh before coming home with nine straight pars, including a disappointing three-putt at the par-five 17th.

“I feel like I played well today. I played 29 holes, dropped three shots today and two of those were three-putts,” Woods said.

“I thought I played really clean cards, really clean rounds. And I just wish I could have got myself a couple more shots closer to the lead, especially with 17 the way it’s playing, they’re moving the tee way up like that.

“18 is playing pretty short as well. So I’m sure that I’ll be more than just four back by the end of the day, but there aren’t a lot of guys up there in front of me.”

Woods is once again, like in last month’s The Open at Carnoustie, well placed to challenge – sitting four off Brooks Koepka’s lead – for a 15th major title and first since 2008.

“It’s one of those things where I’m going to be back behind the lead probably at least four now, possibly more by end of the day,” Woods said.

“Tomorrow, not just myself, but everyone’s going to have to shoot low rounds. Its soft, it’s gettable and you can’t just go out there and make a bunch of pars, you’re going to have to make some birdies.

Woods acknowledged the large St Louis crowds at Bellerive provided a huge source of inspiration during his round as tiredness led to a couple of mental lapses of concentration over the closing stages.

He said: “They have been unbelievable. Not only supportive, but just so positive. They have been supportive of all of my playing partners and myself these first three rounds and it’s been a pleasure to play in front of them, it really has.”

Meanwhile, Matt Wallace described his first hole in one as a professional during the third round as the “best shot of my life”.

The Englishman made the cut at a major for the first time in his career and followed it with a two-under par 68 to finish at five-under overall ahead of Sunday’s final round.

Wallace, who played alongside Jordan Spieth, mixed three birdies with two bogeys over the front nine before a double-bogey six at the par-four 10th set him back only to recover with a birdie at the 14th before the unlikely ace at the par three 16th.

“Best shot of my life probably. In front of a few thousand people on one hole, in front of Jordan [Spieth], my caddie Dave as well – finally picked a good club for me,” Wallace said.

“No, I flushed it right into my zone.”

Wallace has progressed from the Alps Tour to the elite levels of the sport inside two years, and spoke positively about the opportunity to play alongside three-time major winner Spieth.

“I said to him down maybe the first hole or second hole, this is a real privilege for me to be playing with you, because 18 months ago I was on a mini-tour and I worked really hard to where I got to now and it’s a privilege to play with him,” he added.

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