SAN DIEGO —
He was in the rough off the tee only five times in the third round, though always at the right angle to approach the green. On his only other bogey, he missed the green by about a foot and his chip came out hot and ran some 7 feet by the hole.
Because of the quick turnaround, Fritsch didn’t play in the final group with Woods despite being the closest player to him. He still felt the energy playing in the group ahead, with a large gallery lining both sides of the fairways.
“I’ve never played in this atmosphere before, especially in front of Tiger,” Fritsch said. “So I think I handled it well. It was fun, and I’ve got to do it over again.”
Fritsch chipped in for birdie on the par-5 ninth, but then missed the green at No. 10 and the fairway at No. 12, both leading to bogeys. He made pars the rest of the way until a closing birdie.
Compton had the best finish, with some theatrics to go along with it.
His 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th hung on the lip of the cup as the gallery groaned. Compton pointed at the ball just as gravity took over and the ball disappeared, and he slammed down his fist as the crowd erupted with cheers. Then, he hit 2-iron from 240 yards into the middle of the green, and his eagle putt banged into the back of the cup and dropped down to put him in third place.
“It was one of the coolest moments I’ve ever seen for me as a professional,” Compton said. “That was kind of neat. Tiger’s behind me, I’m trying to fight back, and it was on the lip. Stayed there for a minute and then just the crowd’s reaction, my reaction ... I don’t even know what I did. But it was great.”