Garcia made par from deep in the woods and bogey from the middle of the fairway. He came close to a hole-in-one on the 13th hole, and went bunker-to-bunker for bogey on the 14th hole. Woods was far steadier, though certainly not spectacular. That birdie he made on No. 2 was his only one of the day.
Jeff Maggert, who also had a share of the lead at one point early in the day, bogeyed the last hole for a 66 and was the clubhouse leader at 9-under 207. Casey Wittenberg and Ryan Palmer also were at 9-under and still had to finish their rounds.
Lee Westwood whiffed a shot on his opening hole then his club nicked a pine tree on his downswing and the club went nearly a foot past the ball, leading to double bogey. Westwood was 6-under with three holes to play.
Hunter Mahan’s tee shot on the 15th hole got stuck high up in a tree, leading to double bogey, but then he rolled in an eagle putt from off the 16th green. He three-putted the 17th green for bogey and wound up with a 71, putting him at 8-under 208 with David Lynn of England, who had a 68. Lynn lost in a playoff last week at Quail Hollow.
Through all that, Woods and Garcia generated the biggest buzz.
The Woods-Garcia relationship already was frosty. In Tom Callahan’s book on Woods, ‘‘His Father’s Son,’’ he writes about the time Woods saw Garcia in the clubhouse watching a TV monitor and trying to cheer a player’s putt out of the hole.
Woods was said to be put off when Garcia celebrated wildly after winning a Monday night ‘‘Battle at Bighorn’’ exhibition in 2000. During the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, which Woods won wire-to-wire, Garcia complained that play should have been stopped in the second round because of the rain.
‘‘If Tiger Woods would have been out there, it would have been called,’’ Garcia said that day.
Saturday was the sixth time Woods and Garcia have played together in the final group on the weekend. Woods went on to win the previous five tournaments.
There is plenty of work left at Sawgrass. And if there is no change on the leaderboard Sunday morning, Woods and Garcia get to play together again.