Woods was coming off his first PGA Tour victory in 21/2 years, two weeks ago at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill event near his old home in Orlando, which he's now won seven times.
But he still might not be all the way back to being his former Terminator self.
Woods, who hasn't finished worse than sixth here since 2004, has made 10 consecutive pars on the 5's, and 11 of 12. He birdied the eighth on Thursday. In 16 previous trips here he was 133-under on those holes.
He's also 3-over on the par-3's, with a birdie and four bogeys.
He's been seen taking his frustration out on his sticks, and he was caught by a microphone saying some bad words.
"I apologize if I offended anybody," Woods said. "But it's certainly frustrating at times not hitting the ball where you need to hit it. I certainly heard that people didn't like me kicking the club. But I didn't like it either . . .
"I got here and for some reason I kind of fell into my old patterns again. I felt a lot more comfortable [today], unfortunately just a fraction off.
"I need to play a great round of golf tomorrow and hopefully I can do that. I have been missing the [right] spots by just a little bit here and there. I just didn't take care of the opportunities when I had them. It was just one thing after another."
At least this time Rory McIlroy didn't wait until the back nine on Sunday to light himself on fire. The reigning U.S. Open champion started one off the lead but opened with a double-bogey. By the time he made the turn he was 6-over for the day, having made another double at 7.
He would finish with a birdie for a 77 and 217. Last year he closed with an 80, which really got going with a triple-bogey on 10, after holding a four-shot shot through three rounds.
His playing partner, Sergio Garcia, was also one back. He's at 215 after a 75, and probably will now be 0-for-54 in majors.
"It was hard to feed off each other's energy," said the Spaniard, who shot 40 on the front but did play the last five in 2-under. "There wasn't any.
"Our good holes were bad. Our bad holes were worse. We were really bad."