Although his driver gives him fits at time, he is still hitting his irons well enough to give himself chances, and he is due for a hot putting round that would take advantage of such success.
Woods was facing his third shot to the par-five eighth hole at Bellerive Country Club when an approaching thunderstorm forced play to be suspended on Friday afternoon.
The US Open champion, who had led by five shots, carded a four-under 66 to stay ahead of Australia's Adam Scott.
If the appearance of this duo at the leaderboard's summit is something of a surprise, the same can not be said for the men in pursuit. "You can't hide my name".
Woods and Fowler were among those just happy to get off the course. Well, at least his chances at completing it this year.
Just like Carnoustie rose to the legend when he made his push for a fairytale comeback win at The Open three weeks ago - actually assuming the lead with the back nine to play - so the vast Missouri galleries here worked themselves up to a Tigermania as he signed for a pair of 66s in the space of seven hours.
The crowd, bottlenecked and sandwiched into every crevice Bellerive had to offer, belonged to one man. Hats from Nike's Tiger Woods collection sold out from the merchandise tent early in the week, and on Saturday, they abounded-although they were by no means the most creative piece of Woods apparel on the links. She comforted Woods after his final hole at The Open. He went on to pull his birdie putt, settling with par; he'd go on to par the 18th hole as well, capping off a back nine where he left several strokes on the greens-which Woods was mildly critical of after his round.
"I don't know how it got behind that tree with so many people on the right-hand side (of the fairway)", he said. "I hit it well on the second nine".
He plans to spend Sunday morning working out, as he has done all week at a local gym. "More feelings and philosophy and how I play my best golf and it's kind of falling into place a bit".
Woods, who has never won a major title when not leading after 54 holes, owns 79 career PGA titles, three shy of Sam Snead's all-time record. "And I just wish I could have got myself a couple more shots closer to the lead, especially with the way 17 is playing, moving the tee way up like that".
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Koepka was waltzing along with a five-shot lead until his flawless 43-hole stretch ended with a bogey at the par-four 14th. He had to get up and down to limit the damage to a bogey.
At the 10th, Woods found the right rough and pitched to eight feet then made a tension-packed putt to rescue par, a right fist-pump showing his joy at avoiding a third consecutive bogey on the hole.
The challenge for the field will be to catch a player so physically and mentally tough that he lifts weights even during major championships.
Koepka won the U.S. Open on two different courses that required one extreme to the other in scoring - 16 under at Erin Hills, 1 over at Shinnecock Hills.
This test figures to be different. It's so soft that the average score Saturday was 69.5, and a charge can come from anywhere.
"Another low round", Woods said on what it will take to win. "It's soft, it's gettable, and you can't just go out there and make a bunch of pars". "I was giving him crap because he let us down on the back nine with only three birdies".
England's Wallace produced one of the most memorable moments of the tournament by claiming a "mindblowing" hole in one on the par-three 16th.
He doesn't think anything will match the joy of being the first Australian to win the Masters, in 2013.
"I didn't know", Koepka said.
And he made it look ever so easy, bludgeoning his drives massive distances and honing in on the pins with unerring accuracy. Three shots behind at the turn, he and Kevin Kisner were in a front bunker.