Augusta - Tiger Woods was left to reflect on his bad luck after finishing tied for fourth at the Masters on Sunday.
The world No 1 shot a final round 70 to finish at five-under, four
strokes behind the eventual winner, Australia'sAdam Scott, but things
might have been different had it not been for a wretched break in his
His approach shot at the par-five 15th was so good that it struck the
flagstick, but rather than drop nearby it ricocheted backwards off the
green and into Rae's Creek.
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Instead of putting for a birdie, Woods was forced to replay the shot and
made a bogey. Then the following day he was slapped with a two-stroke
penalty for an illegal drop.
He could have been disqualified but officials used their discretion to
let him play and a potential birdie hole was turned into a triple-bogey.
Although he came close in the end, Woods never really recovered from his
misfortune but refused to blame that one hole for the result.
"We could do that what if-in every tournament we lose," Woods said.
"We lose more tournaments than we win out here on tour, so that's just part of the process and I'll go back to it."
For Woods, there is little consolation in finishing fourth. He measures
his success by the number of majors he wins. His lifelong ambition to is
break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 but he has been stranded on 14 since
Despite coming up short again, Woods said there were still plenty of positives he could take away.
He has already won three PGA Tour titles this year and is starting to look like his old self.
The bookmakers installed him as the favourite to win the Masters and
crowds at Augusta National still adore him, cramming the fairways and
greens to see him in action and erupting in wild excitement whenever he
conjured up some of his old magic.
"I certainly had a chance. If I would have posted a number today, I was
right there," he said. "I was four back starting out the day and I
thought I really played well this week. I made my share of putts as
"I played this week the way I've been playing all year, and that's a good sign."