AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods had reclaimed his No. 1 world ranking. He’d won the last two tournaments he’d played in and a total of three times in just five starts this year.
But the man who came to Augusta National as such an overwhelming favorite wasn’t able to get the job done. Woods, who was seeking his fifth Green Jacket and first Masters win since 2005, closed with a 70 on Sunday and came up short at 5 under.
Woods, who was assesssed a two-stroke penalty for taking an improper drop at the 15th hole in the second round before he teed of on Saturday, couldn’t get off to the kind of start he needed to force the issue. He started the final round four strokes off the pace.
But Woods went out in a disappointing 37 on Sunday. He gave his fans a glimmer of hope with a birdies at No. 10 and both par 5s on the back nine before closing with a trio of pars as the leaders pressed onward.
“I had a hard time getting accustomed to the speed,” Woods said after his round. “It was so much slower than yesterday — and that was before it rained. I had a hard time hitting putts hard enough.”
Woods, who hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, was pleased with his performance overall, though.
“I played well,” said the 14-time major champion. “Unforunately I didn’t make enough putts and I missed a few shots here and there. I thought if I shot 65 I would have won it outright and it turns out that might have been the number.”