Woods hits birdie trail to charge back into Masters contention

Tiger Woods overcame a sluggish start to his third round at the Masters by charging up the leaderboard with three successive birdies.

Tony Finau initially took centre stage at Augusta on ‘moving day’, turning in 30 – with the aid of an eagle at the eighth – to reach nine under for the tournament.

Woods, one behind the leaders overnight, was four off the pace after he followed pars at each of his first four holes with a bogey at the fifth.

However, a 20-foot birdie putt on the sixth sparked the 14-time major champion into life and he duly hit an approach to inside a foot at the next hole, setting up another gain.

All of a sudden, Woods was looking full of confidence and he was on the green at the par-five eighth in two before seeing an eagle attempt slide agonisingly past the hole from 11 feet.

A third straight birdie nevertheless lifted Woods, who won the last of his four Masters titles in 2005, to eight under, leaving him just one behind Finau, Xander Schauffele and Webb Simpson, who shot 64 to match the score of Patrick Cantlay earlier in the day. 

Francesco Molinari, Brooks Koepka and Jason Day were alongside Woods at eight under.