PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods shot 72 Sunday to finish The Players Championship 3-over par and near the bottom of the leaderboard. In his words, the week was a mixed bag.
There was some good — a birdie on the last Friday to make it to the weekend and keep alive a streak of never having missed the cut at TPC Sawgrass. There was plenty of bad — double bogeys on two par 5s in the same round for the first time in his career.
Sunday, Woods made a triple bogey on the par-4 14th, where he drove it in the water, in between a run of four birdies in a seven-hole stretch.
“They will get cleaned up over time,” Woods said. “But this golf course definitely exposes that. Ernie (Els) and I were talking about it the other day, boy, it can turn quick here. You can be going along, playing fine, all of a sudden make a double here and it’s like, what just happened?”
Woods’ four-day total of 291 matches a career-high at TPC Sawgrass. He shot the same number in 1999 but that came under significantly more difficult scoring conditions and he tied for 10th.
His previous lowest finish on the leaderboard in the event was a tie for 53rd in 2005.
Over four days, Woods hit just half his fairways and 61 percent of his greens in regulation. He also gave away nearly a half-stroke to the field in putting.
Still, it was an improvement from his first two starts of the year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Farmers Insurance Open. He tied for 17th at the Masters but his short game saved him.
Woods will take next week off — he would have likely played the Wells Fargo Championship if not for Tiger Jam, his annual weekend of charity events in Las Vegas, taking place the same weekend. In the interim, he’ll keep trying to progress.
“I’ll put in quite a bit of work this week leading up to it,” Woods said. “But after that, then I can get back to grinding again.
“(My swing) feels a lot closer. We added a couple new pieces and they were really good. I’m very pleased. I didn’t have one bad warm-up session this week, which is great. So that’s a sign that we’re heading the right direction. Out there, I reverted back a couple times, so be it, it happens. But also I did some really good stuff out there too.”
Woods’ next event will be the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide in early June at Muirfield Village, which will be his only start before the U.S. Open. He said he also plans to take a trip to Chambers Bay sometime before the year’s second major.
“We’re progressing,” he said. “It’s a matter of putting the pieces together first. I mean, look where it was at on the West Coast and to where I’m at now. So let’s just keep progressing, keep putting the pieces together, keep chipping away at it. And I’m very pleased at the way we’re just chipping away at it. We had some glaring weaknesses at the beginning of the year, those are now gone, and now we can start cleaning up some other stuff, too.”