Tiger Woods claimed bragging rights over Rory McIlroy in their head-to-head meeting at the Northern Trust, although both players slipped further down the leaderboard after a disappointing third round.
The two players were paired together early on Saturday morning at TPC Boston after scraping their way through on the cut-mark, with neither player able to make a fast start to the weekend and play their way back into the tournament.
Woods mixed three birdies with five bogeys in a two-over 73, dropping him to one under for the week, with McIlroy carding a shot worse after posting two triple-bogeys in his erratic third-round 74.
The pair had occupied the bottom two spots on the leaderboard for large pars of their round, only for that unwanted title to go to Matt Jones after the Australian carded a five-over 76 to drop back to two over for the tournament.
McIlroy rolled in from eight feet at the first, where Woods missed his five-foot birdie attempt, only to triple-bogey the next after finding water with his third shot and then three-putting from 40 feet.
Woods cancelled out his eight-foot birdie at the second by bogeying the par-three next, where a two-shot swing saw McIlroy convert from 10 feet to pick up a shot.
Both players failed to take advantage of the driveable fourth, squandering birdie looks from inside eight feet, with Woods failing to get up and down from the sand to save par at the fifth and McIlroy then racking up an ugly triple-bogey at the par-four sixth.
Woods missed from four feet at the seventh and matched McIlroy’s par but birdied the ninth to reach the turn in level-par, as the Northern Irishman stuttered to a front-nine 40.
McIlroy started his back nine with a birdie and holed from 12 feet to save par at the 12th, while Woods missed a seven-footer for his par at the 11th and three-putted from 30 feet at the next for another dropped shot.
Both players bogeyed the 14th and parred their next three holes before birdieing the last, with McIlroy finding the par-five green in two and two-putting for his closing birdie and Woods rolling in his effort from seven feet.
Neither player spoke to the media after their rounds, with both facing another early start for Sunday’s conclusion. Both have already qualified for next week’s BMW Championship, with Woods facing a battle to break into the top 30 in the FedExCup standings and qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship.