Woods repeatedly shook his hand as if in substantial pain after bumping into a photographer's camera, but insisted later the incident would not pose any problems for him going into Sunday's final round in San Francisco.
Woods, whose third US Open triumph in 2008 remains his last major victory, was co-leader heading into Saturday, but bogeyed four of the first eight holes and dropped further shots at 16 and 18 to be five shots behind leaders Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell.
"I was just a few yards off here and there, and that was enough on this course. It was just a tough day on the greens. And I was right between clubs all day and it was just a tough day," said Woods.
"I just have to shoot a good round [Sunday] and see what happens. It's not like you need to shoot 62s or 63s. You just need a few birdies."