With his eye on the goal of his first major PGA tour victory in more than 17 months, Tiger Woods headed into the third round of the 2011 Masters at Augusta National in Georgia tied for third place.

Woods hasn’t performed up to his elite status since last year’s Masters, when he first returned to play following the revelation of his marital infidelities. He started out cold this year, finishing the first round tied in 24th place after shooting 1-under-par on April 7.

But the 14-time major champion eventually warmed up to the Masters greens that he’s dominated so many times before, making three straight birdies while playing his last 11 holes at -7 under in the second round on April 8.

His second round performance pushed him up to third place and gave him his lowest score at Augusta (137) since he won the 2005 Masters and earned his fourth green jacket.

Woods is now in prime position to push for a fifth Masters title, but he still has to overcome leads by Roy McIlroy and Jason Day. Twenty-one-year-old McIlroy is the leader at 10-under-par, while Day, 23, sits in second place at 8-under-par.

The two golfers are two young pros who remind Woods of himself when he was their age. Both McIlroy and Day were not even 10 years old when they witnessed a 21-year-old Woods win the 1997 Masters by a record-breaking 12 shots.

“I’m a little older now, I guess,” Woods said, according to ESPN. “It’s the next generation. It’s good to see these guys out here playing with that much enthusiasm and that much zest for the game. And that’s good.”

“But I’m just trying to put myself in the mix come Sunday,” Woods added. “It’s irrelevant who’s there. My whole job is to get myself there with a chance with nine holes to go. That’s what we’ve always done. And I’ve been successful at it in the past by doing it that way.”