Tiger Woods has given no consideration to the emotions that may come with placing the green jacket on a new Masters champion on Sunday as his focus was purely on attempting to stay in contention in round three.

Last year, Woods ended an 11-year wait for a 15th major title with a stunning triumph at Augusta National, his fifth Masters win and one shy of Jack Nicklaus’ overall record.

An even-par 72 on Saturday means he is 11 strokes off leader Dustin Johnson, whose score of 16 under matches the 54-hole record set by Jordan Spieth in 2015.

Johnson is four shots clear at the top of the leaderboard and whether Woods is awarding his fellow American a green jacket or someone else in contention, he has not thought about how he will feel doing so. 

“I have not. Tuesday [the Champions Dinner] was a long, tough day for me, but I have not thought about tomorrow yet,” Woods told a news conference following Saturday’s round. 

“I was focused on trying to get myself in contention going into tomorrow.

“I just found out that the tee times are going to be a bit early tomorrow and going off two tees, so I didn’t know what that bracket was going to be.

“I don’t know exactly what position I’m in. I certainly will be part of the early part of the split and get after it tomorrow. We’ll see how emotional it’ll be after tomorrow’s round.”

While Johnson hunts a maiden Masters victory, this year marked the 25th anniversary of Woods’ first appearance at the major, as an amateur in April 1995.

With the 2020 tournament pushed back to November due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the course has proven unpredictable for many seasoned competitors, including Woods, who stated earlier in the week that previous champions would be favoured once the ground firmed up.

“Well, it got a little bit faster, yes, but the putts just still aren’t quite breaking,” said Woods, who also said he was dealing with back pain during his third round.

“Some of the downhill putts are starting to move a little bit, but the uphill putts – we normally say that everything breaks towards Rae’s Creek, and the greens can get a little touch grainy. 

“That’s definitely been the case this week, just because they’ve been a little bit longer.”