Say it ain’t so! For the first time since the opening round of The Barclays in 2013, Tiger Woods went bogey-free on Sunday at the Greenbrier Classic, ending his streak of 55 consecutive rounds with a bogey or worse on the PGA Tour. The world no. 220th ranked player fired a three-under 67 to finish at seven-under for the championship and place in a tie for 35th.
“That is the best I have hit in a very long time,” said Woods. “I had full control over all of my clubs. I hit it great. I had shapes both ways right and left drive. I had it all on call today.”
Yada, yada, yada.
Woods, who has struggled off the tee in 2015, hit 12 of 14 fairways, and his iron play was beautiful, as well. However, he lost strokes on the greens. In fact, Woods thinks that if he had putted decently, he would have contended.
“To count it up, I had six lip-outs for birdie, so this could have been one of those special rounds where I could have really gone low,” he said.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda. It’s true, though. Just on Sunday, Woods missed six putts inside 15 feet.
Woods is indeed showing progress, though. He shot three rounds in the 60s at Old White TPC. Prior to this week, he had only posted two scores in the 60s all year.
“I felt like we made a big, giant step at Memorial, even though I shot those numbers, but the pattern was set now, just had to refine it,” said Woods, who posted a third-round 85 at Jack’s tournament. “This week was definitely that, definitely refined it, and just needed to — if I just made a couple putts, this week could have been completely different.”
Apparently he’s made real strides with his swing changes (which we aren’t quite sure what they are exactly).
“It’s very simple, it’s just a shift in the baseline,” said Woods, referring to his ballstriking. “I’ve just got to get used to the feel. It’s a completely different motion. That’s why I did what I did at Memorial, to get myself into this position now. It’s not a short-term fix. People looking for the one quick fix and the very next day go out and play golf, it doesn’t work that way.
“It takes time. It takes time to build it. I’m very pleased with what I’ve been able to do, and consequently I’m in this position now.”
Woods’ total of seven-under for the tournament is his best score relative to par at an event since the 2013 BMW Championship. (WOW.)
Woods is looking to take some newfound confidence and momentum with him to the Open Championship at St Andrews, where he won two of this three titles at the most storied major, the week after next.
“It’s been a very positive week,” said Tiger. “I’ve made some nice strides headed into the British Open, and I’ll do some good work next week and be ready come Thursday.”
I don’t think he’s ready to contend at the Open, though. Sure, I know he’s won at St Andrews twice, and sure, he played “OK” at the Greenbrier, but the distinctions are that it’s a transformed Tiger Woods who won the Open in 2000 and 2005 and a different type of golf course (the Old White TPC and the Home of Golf). For now, we should just be happy to see him make the cut — it would be two in a row!