Tiger Woods falls short at PGA
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Another major championship season passed Sunday without a victory for Tiger Woods, a foregone conclusion at the outset of the PGA Championship's final round at Oak Hill Country Club.
Woods fought back with a 3-under-par 32 on the back nine to shoot even-par 70, far too little and far too late to make much difference at a tournament he has won four times. He finished tied for 40th.
It marked the end of five full seasons without a major title for Woods, who has been stuck on 14 since capturing the 2008 U.S. Open.
"Yeah, I was close in two of them; I was right there and certainly had a chance to win the Masters and British this year," said Woods, who tied for fourth at the Masters and tied for sixth at the Open Championship. "The other two, I just didn't hit it good enough. Just the way it goes."
That was certainly the case here, where Woods was never able to shoot in the 60s and finished his round before the leaders were even on the course Sunday. He began the day 13 strokes back and finished with a score of 284, 4-over par.Jason Dufner won with a 10-under total.
It was a long way removed from his strong play a week earlier at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Country Club, where he shot 265, 15-under par, and won by seven strokes.
"I put four good rounds [together] last week, unfortunately it wasn't this week," Woods said. "Didn't seem to hit it as good and didn't make many putts until the last few holes today. But I didn't give myself many looks and certainly didn't hit the ball good enough to be in it.
"Jim [Furyk, the third-round leader who ended up 2 shots behind Dufner] is 9-under par right now. I've had nine birdies through 72 holes, so not enough birdies."
Woods actually had 10 birdies, but the point is still valid. To make just 10 birdies suggests myriad issues, including not giving himself enough chances due to missing too many fairways.
He also discounted any concerns about injury. After hitting his tee shot on the 13th hole, Woods appeared to favor his lower back with his right arm. He did it again later in the round, but this was also the part of the day when he played his best.
"It was tight all day, it's been tight all day," Woods said. "Just one of those things."
Asked later if it could be a concern going forward, Woods smiled and shook his head no.
Woods admitted it was tough teeing off Sunday not having a chance to win.
"It's more frustrating not being in it," he said. "Having a chance on the back nine on Sunday, I can live with that. It's always frustrating going out there. ... I'm 3 over today, got to 7 and I'm grinding my tail off coming in just to shoot even par for the day. And I'm nowhere in it."
Up next for Woods is the FedEx Cup playoffs, and the five-time winner this year on the PGA Tour leads the points standings by a considerable margin. He is expected to play the first event beginning Aug. 22 at the Barclays. Following the four FedEx Cup events is the Presidents Cup. Woods is scheduled to play a tournament on the European Tour in Turkey in November.
And it's a long eight months until the Masters in April, the next major championship.
"We have a long way to go to that and I have a lot golf to play between now and then, not just the rest of our season but overseas as well and beginning of next year," Woods said. "We have got a long way to go for that."
THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
Jason Dufner exorcised the ghosts of PGAs past with a resounding victory at Oak Hill.