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What will Tiger do today?

Kevin Currie, Golf Editor

Augusta, GA (Sports Network) - It's a process. I'm getting closer. I feel good about my game.

These are some of the cliches Tiger Woods uses, and he uses more than any professional athlete.

I am curious what he'll say when he finally gets back to the winner's circle. I'm even more curious to hear what he'll say later today.

Will it be, "the putts just didn't fall," or "I couldn't find my rhythm with my driver," or "I just tried to stay patient out there"?

In truth, no one, even Woods himself, knows how the third round at the Masters will play out. Other than back-to-back 69s at Torrey Pines to open the season, Woods has struggled to put together two good rounds.

Dating back to last year's U.S. Open, the last three times Woods shot 66, he followed with two over-par rounds and an even-par round.

We all know how much Woods loves Augusta, and it shows in his results. The last time Woods strung together four straight sub-par rounds was at last year's Masters.

At the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship, Woods followed a second-round 65 with rounds of 69-68 on the weekend; it was the last time he posted a round in the 60s after shooting 66 or better and also the last time Woods put together three straight rounds in the 60s.

Scrolling through Twitter last night, two different astute observers pointed out that Tiger had his distance control back. Having that back at Augusta National is key, since the targets the players are hitting at can seem minuscule under pressure.

And Woods said as much after his second round. "You've just got to know where to place the golf ball. There's so many different ways you can play each and every hole," he commented.

Having his distance control back, at least for one round, is important, and what's more important for Woods is how he plays Saturday.

In his four Masters wins, Woods shot 66 in the second round three times. The other time he shot 69, but followed with a 66 in the third round.

After two of those second-round 66s, Woods followed with a 65.

Woods enters the third round three strokes behind Rory McIlroy. He is familiar with being behind at the Masters, though. Only in his historic win in 1997 did Woods lead after two rounds.

In his other three wins at Augusta, Woods trailed by two (2001), four (2002) and six (2005) after 36 holes. Today's round will either answer plenty of questions about his game, or bring up more if he struggles.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Kevin Currie at kcurrie@sportsnetwork.com.

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