After a disappointing third round Saturday, Tiger Woods bounced back with a solid performance on Sunday at the Quicken Loans National. Woods fired a three-under par 68 on his final round, and finished in a tie for 18th at eight-under par.
His 18th place finish this week is Tiger’s second best result on the PGA Tour this season; he finished in a tie for 17th at The Masters earlier this April. However, Woods still won’t qualify for next week’s WGC Bridgestone Invitational, and his performance this week hasn’t garnered him enough points to make the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Once again, Tiger showed flashes of brilliance during his round on Sunday, as he has done all throughout the week. He vaulted himself up the leader board with five birdies in his first ten holes with flushed iron shots, solid drives off the tee, and good putting. Woods birdied the third and fourth holes after hitting his approach shots to within nine feet of the cup and rolling in the putts. He capped off his front nine in style on the par-three ninth by dropping a 42-foot birdie putt, leaving the crowd roaring in delight.
Tiger, however, stumbled on his inward nine with three bogeys, but still managed to birdie the 17th hole before closing out a solid round overall. According to stats provided by the PGA Tour’s website, Woods hit 11 out of 14 fairways, 15 out of 18 greens, and needed 29 putts total for the round.
After his round, the former world number one spoke to the media, and according to ESPN, he stated how he was pleased with the overall progress with his game this week.
“I’m starting to pump the ball out there again and I know my loft of my irons are very weak compared to today’s standards. I’m hitting the ball up there with some of the bigger guys again. The fact I was able to make some putts and then the short game becoming good again like it used to be.”
Woods has every right to be pleased with his play this week, even though a poor round of 74 on Saturday cost him a legitimate chance to win. Despite some erratic tee shots and a few bad swings, Woods has shown the golfing world that he can play well when he is swinging in tempo and has control of his shots. His good iron shots are landing within a few feet of the cup, and his short game is coming around as well. All that really matters now is his ability to be consistent, to put up four solid rounds of golf without reverting back to some of his swing woes.
Tiger’s next venue is the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, a championship that he has won four times. He’ll undoubtedly be searching for his 15th major championship, but given his two missed cuts at the U.S. Open and the British Open earlier this season, his chances of hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy or even contending are slim. Then again, his performance this week at the Quicken Loans National is a promising sign toward the positive direction, and if Woods can put together four solid rounds of golf at the PGA, then he definitely has a chance at contending.
[Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]