[Ed. note: I’m in a fight with WordPress — it won’t let me upload a picture. Hopefully this problem will be resolved soon.]
For a brief moment on Sunday at PGA National, you might have had a déjà vu moment or a flashback to last year’s Honda Classic. As you may recall at this event in 2012, Tiger Woods put some pressure on eventual champion Rory McIlroy when he posted an early 62, punctuated by a thrilling eagle on the par-5 18th.
Back to the present.
From 230 yards in the fairway on the finishing hole, Woods hit a beautiful 3-iron to 10 feet and rolled in the putt for a 3. Unfortunately, unlike last year, his reaction was muted. There was no massive fist-pump. Instead, one of the standard bearers did his best impression of a classic Woods celebration from behind the green, which was adorable.
The difference on this Sunday was 12 strokes. Heading into the 18th, Tiger was six-over on the day, so it really didn’t matter so much to him.
“Lowers my score by two,” said Woods when asked what the eagle did for him at the end of a strange round. “That’s about it.”
He placed in the middle-of-the-pack, T37th, and we know Tiger doesn’t care about a few extra thousand bucks. In fact, he probably wouldn’t notice it in his bank account. It’s all about the Ws.
Tiger was even self-deprecating when a reporter brought up that it wasn’t the same as a 62.
“Not even close,” he said, with a smile. “I think I passed 62 somewhere around 12.”
It was closer to the 15th hole, but when you have a day where you lose a ball and dunk two others in the water, you can’t do anything but laugh at yourself.
However, Tiger was happy with the 3-iron he stiffed on 18.
“Probably hit two of the best 3-irons I hit all year today,” he said. “I nice little high, three-quarter shaft draw on 10, which was a sweet one, and this (on 18) was just a rip, high-cut 3-iron, work it both ways, two totally different shots.”
On the 6th hole, Tiger, who had a ball disappear into the grassy bank on the 17th on Saturday, had a similar occurrence for the second day in a row. Which is completely bizarre.
“We were looking in the wrong spot,” said Woods, who shot a total 4-over. “The penalty shots certainly added up my score. It was a round where I felt I should have shot even par or 1 or 2 under. Those penalty shots and a couple of short birdie putts I missed at 8 and 10.”
All things considered, Tiger did a good job scrambling his way around the course. On Friday he made two excellent par saves to make the cut. It was clear he didn’t have the greatest ballstriking week.
“I just made too many penalties this week,” he said. “Today is a perfect example, I didn’t play that poorly. I had two water balls and a lost ball. Take those away, and I missed two short birdie putts, and it was actually a decent score. So I just got to clean up my rounds.”
Tiger’s next start will be at the WGC Cadillac Championship this upcoming week at Doral. Last year he withdrew after 11 holes due to a nagging Achilles injury, and subsequently, he had his O.J. Simpson moment when a helicopter camera chased his car down the highway.