With 54 holes in the books and 18 more to get in before inclement weather hits, the 2019 Masters will be off and running early on Sunday.
Asked if he felt discounted as a legit favorite entering yet another major due to all the noise, Koepka again fired back at the media attention.
He was paired with him in the final round of the British Open at Carnoustie a year ago, where Woods briefly took the lead and the Italian never flinched, playing bogey-free to capture his first major.
Another shot behind was Brooks Koepka, who has won three of the last six majors and had a 69 despite four bogeys.
Woods - showing no ill effects from yesterday's inadvertent interaction with a security guard - looked good as new, even for a 43-year-old who hasn't won a major in almost 11 years. "If you can't laugh at yourself in something like that", Finau said, "then I think you're doing it all wrong". "I've learned some things about that finish that I can apply to tomorrow and hopefully do better", Finau said.
Woods joined the chasing pack on a day when going neutral meant losing ground.
Tony Finau of the US looks up the 4th hole before hitting during third round play.
He had some luck mid-round, twice seeing wayward drives ending up with a clear path to the green, from where he had no trouble threading recovery shots between the Georgia pines to save par. "I've been in the mix with a chance to win major championships in the last two years, and so that helps". "They were nice to make, and if I keep hitting the putts on my line, they will start dropping".
"I can only be happy about today". On the plus side, he showed the golf world how not to celebrate a hole-in-one during the Par 3 Contest. He still managed to tie for 10th in his first Masters.
All proven in the heat of battle, and in 2013 Masters victor Scott and past runners-up Day and Oosthuizen loaded with serious Augusta credentials.
Scott was the only player to reach 8-under with a 2-iron into 5 feet for eagle on the 15th, only to miss a 3-foot par putt on the 16th.
He made six birdies, including a 30-footer at the ninth, a 15-footer at the 14th after the near-accident, and another 30-footer at the 15th, where he made his only par-5 birdie of the day.
Woods winning the Masters two years after he told everyone that he was done with competitive golf, that he was merely hoping to someday escape his debilitating back pain and play with his kids, would stand among the enduring stories in the modern history of American sports.
The crowd favors Woods. The performance over the last year favors Molinari, whose British Open title is among four big tournaments he has won since last year's Masters. Molinari sees it another way.