“Two pars–better than the start I had yesterday,” quipped Tiger Woods on the 12th tee to Zach Johnson and his caddie Damon Green, who were paired with Woods yesterday when he shot his worst score (44) for nine holes in his pro career.
There was a back-up on the 12th tee because the guys play so slow — no, just kidding — there were storms in the forecast for Sunday, so the PGA Tour sent threesomes off both tees in the final round of the Memorial Tournament.
He may have spoke too soon. A minute later, Tiger launched a 7-iron into the back-left bunker and it plugged. He took two shots to get out of the sand and three-putted for a triple-bogey.
“I was just trying to put the ball against the face on the upslope on the other side so I had a chance to spin the next one,” explained Woods after he signed his scorecard. “And it actually rolled back on the bottom where there’s no sand. I hit a decent shot and obviously skipped by. And the first ball was awful. Just bad speed. The second putt I pulled, as well.”
Good news is that was his only major mistake of the day and he was six shots better than his third-round 78, posting an even-par 72. And it really wasn’t so bad aside from that one hole — which is clearly his favorite (he doubled it on Saturday).
“It wasn’t like it was that far off today,” he said. “So one bad hole.”
But it was pretty meaningless — besides merely finishing the tournament, he was going through the motions and placed T65, which actually wasn’t his worst finish of the year, surprisingly. Before Woods went on a sizzling run that included four wins in seven starts on the PGA Tour, he played in a European Tour event in Abu Dhabi, where he finished T71.
Guys, this was just a bad week, nothing more. We all know it happens. If anything, it was refreshing to see him struggle like a 15-handicap on a few holes this weekend.
“Yeah, it happens,” said Woods when asked the obligatory question about what it all means. “It happens to us all. And go home next week and practice.”
Unlike at The Players Championship when he said there wasn’t any part of his game that needed work, he’ll be spending some time in the practice area this upcoming week leading to the U.S. Open at Merion.
“Everything,” said Tiger when asked what needed cleaning up for the season’s second major. “You want everything clicking on all cylinders, especially at the U.S. Open, because everything is tested in the U.S. Open.”
What was missing this week? Well, heading into the Memorial, he was ranked first in strokes gained putting on the PGA Tour. At Muirfield Village, he finished 71st out of 73 players in that stat.
“I didn’t putt very well,” said Woods. “I had bad speed all week. I thought the greens didn’t look that fast, but they were putting fast. I could never get the speed of them.”
Someone call Steve Stricker!
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)