Gainesville - Tiger Woods, trying to
recapture the form that won 14 major titles, says he made "big
strides" in reviving his game at the PGA Quicken Loans National despite a
failed Sunday charge.
Tournament host Woods birdied five of the
first 10 holes, including a 42-foot birdie putt at the par-3 ninth, but then
made bogeys on three of the next four holes.
The 39-year-old American answered with an
eight-foot birdie putt at 17 but settled for a three-under par 68 final round
to finish on eight-under 276 - his lowest 72-hole score in relation to par at a
PGA event since the 2013 BMW Championship.
"I started off well and really hit the
ball well and looking at the whole week in general, felt like I made some big
strides," Woods said.
"My short game is starting to come
back to where it used to be. Everything is kind of trending in the correct
Woods has slumped to 266th in world
rankings and fired some of his worst career rounds this season due to injuries
and swing changes. He missed the cut at the US and British Opens, eclipsing
good feelings he said that he took from St. Andrews.
"This is much better, much, much, much
better to have a round like today," Woods said. "Even though I
struggled as bad as I did, one thing has been missing. Trying to make an up and
down here and there, scramble and turn around (from) awful into a scoring
Coming off a third-round 74 that ended his
title hopes, Woods said he fixed Saturday swing errors by "basically just
set up and organized back to basics. Get it organized at address and from there
go ahead and go."
Woods ran off three birdies in a row
starting with an 11-foot putt at the third. That was followed by a 10-footer at
four and a four-footer at the par-5 fifth. He closed the front nine with a
monster putt to draw a roar from the crowd.
"Hit the ball really well," Woods
said. "I didn't really miss a shot on the front nine. It was a very solid
round. It was a mixed bag as far as results but the fact I had total control of
the golf ball was nice."
An eight-foot birdie putt to open the back
nine put him four off the lead but a three-foot par putt horseshoed the edge of
the cup and came back to him to start a bogey stretch at 11.
"I was 5-under through 10 and really
had it going. I took my eye off it. I thought I had made it. Next thing I know
it's coming right back to my feet again," Woods said. "That
definitely didn't feel very good. Then the tee shot on 12 was a tough
Woods found water off the 12th tee and
again on his third shot at 14, both on the way to bogeys, and his birdie at 17
was too little and too late.
The former world number one has 79 career
PGA Tour titles, three shy of Sam Snead's all-time record, but has not won a
title since the 2013 World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational and has
not won a major since the 2008 US Open.
Woods, who is not qualified for the US PGA
season-ending playoffs, will try to move closer to the record 18 majors won by
Jack Nicklaus in two weeks at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.