Tiger Woods makes bold claim, JT threads needle & Niemann out in front

Tiger Woods made a bold claim in the commentary booth, JT found a gap as Joaquin Niemann leads after 54 holes at the Genesis Invitational.

Ben Smith's picture
Sun, 20 Feb 2022
Tiger Woods makes bold claim, JT threads needle & Niemann out in front

Tiger Woods says he still feels like he can "kick these guys' butts" as he hopped into the commentary booth at the Genesis Invitational.

As tournament host Woods, 46, joined Jim Nantz for a short stint to call the action and made a bold claim to suggest his career isn't over. 

Woods explained how the fire is still burning, how Justin Thomas is like a little brother to him and how he can "still send it". 

By day's end, Joaquin Niemann had extended his lead to three after shooting 68 to go along with a pair of sublime 63s on Thursday and Friday.

He is being chased by the surprise contender Cameron Young and the Norwegian superstar Viktor Hovland at par-71 Riviera. 

Niemann should really get this done on Sunday. In truth, even Hovland appears to be too far behind to claim the win. 

After three rounds, Niemann saw himself claim the 54-hole scoring record.

If here were to win, it would see him earn his second PGA Tour victory and he's only 23 years old. 

Collin Morikawa, newly crowned PGA Tour winner Scottie Scheffler and defending champ Max Homa and Justin Thomas are in the top 10.

In the latter part of the broadcast, Woods hopped in the booth and was pressed again by Nantz about the date of his return. 

"I don't know," came the response from the cat, who also confirmed that his upcoming hall of fame speech will be nerve wracking. 

"I still feel like I can be out here to kick these guys' butts," he joked before explaining his close relationship with "little brother" Thomas. 

Woods paid tribute to the bigger hitters on the tour at present but added: "I can still hit it out there". 

Though he admits his playing days at an elite level are numbered and explained after he retires he wants to design more courses. 

Woods also paid tribute to Nantz' call when he won the 2019 Masters. The return to glory, Nantz said. 

"That was special and your call made it that much more memorable and historic," said Woods. 

Related: Harry Higgs could be fined for shirtless celebration

JT threads the needle with sublime shot

The eagle lands for Homa... from all of 61ft!

Leaderboard thru 54 holes

J. Niemann -19

C. Young -16

V. Hovland -13

J. Thomas -12

C. Morikawa -11

M. Leishman -10

M. McNealy -10

S. Scheffler -10

M. Homa -10

E. Grillo -9

Next page: Time for the PGA Tour to ditch Phil Mickelson?