Tiger Woods was 8-over par during the final two days of the U.S. Open to tie for 21st place, his worst four-round finish at golf’s second major championship.
Woods shot a 3-over-par 73 during yesterday’s final round, when he fell out of contention early and finished six shots behind winner Webb Simpson at San Francisco’s Olympic Club.
“I didn’t really miss it that badly this week,” Woods, 36, told reporters after shooting 7-over 287. “The misses were just a fraction off, which is great. This golf course is just so demanding that a fraction off you pay a price.”
Coming off his second win of the season two weeks ago at the Memorial Tournament, Woods shot 69 and 70 in the first two rounds and entered the weekend tied for the lead at 1 under.
The 14-time major-tournament winner then dropped five shots off the lead after a third-round 75 in which he struggled to find the fairway with his tee shots. Any chance to end a four- year title drought at the majors was dashed when he teed off more than an hour before the leaders yesterday and opened with four bogeys and a double-bogey over the first six holes.
“The first six, I just didn’t play well at all,” said Woods, who added three birdies on the final 11 holes. “I just could never get anything going positively. I missed the ball in the wrong side a couple times and that’s all it takes.”
Woods’s 8-over score for the final 36 holes was his worst weekend performance in a U.S. Open since going 9 over on Saturday and Sunday at New York’s Shinnecock Hills in 2004. His worst previous four-round finish at the U.S. Open as a professional came in 2003, when he tied for 20th at Olympia Fields outside of Chicago. The three-time U.S. Open champion missed the cut for weekend play at the 2006 tournament at Winged Foot in New York.
Woods’s next chance to close the gap on Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major titles will begin July 19 when the British Open starts at Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England.
“Overall, the way I struck the golf ball, the way I controlled it all week is something that’s very positive going forward,” Woods said.
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