He made three birdie putts of about 15 feet or longer on the back nine, including a 35-footer down the slope on the par-5 15th, and had a 6-under 66. His goal was to get back to even par for the tournament and hope to be within five shots of the leader.
It turned out much better.
Woods was one of five players who were under par, and he goes into Sunday only three shots behind as he tries to win at Doral for the fifth time. Jamie Donaldson of Wales escaped from the palm trees right of the 18th and made par for a 71 to share fourth place with Woods.
"It was nice to get back in the tournament again," Woods said.
Reed will be going for his third win in his last 14 starts dating to the Wyndham Championship in August. He was at 4-under 212, the highest score to lead after 54 holes at Doral since a three-way tie at 212 in 1985.
Asked what it would be like to see Woods in a red shirt ahead of him on Sunday, Reed didn't seem bothered.
"That's fine. I've seen Tiger a lot on the driving range. Never had the opportunity to play with him and I still haven't been able to play with him," he said. "Whenever he's close to the lead, he's a guy you have to watch out for. But at the same time, I have to go and just play my own game."
Reed did that beautifully playing with Dustin Johnson, which he said is the reason he had his second 54-hole lead of the year. He earlier won the Humana Challenge.
The lack of big wind certainly helped with scoring and attitudes on Saturday. The average scores was 72.6, compared with 76.0 in the second round, allowing for plenty of movement on the leaderboard on a sunny afternoon in Miami.
Puerto Rico Open
Chesson Hadley took the third-round lead in the Puerto Rico Open, shooting a 5-under 67 in windy conditions at Trump International in Rio Grande.
Making his 13th PGA Tour start, the 26-year-old Hadley had a 16-under 200 total.
Danny Lee was a stroke back after a 66.