ATLANTA – Tiger Woods was doing his best to get back into the mix Friday at the Tour Championship.
The last five holes changed everything.
Woods made a double bogey from the trees and a triple bogey with a tee shot into the water. That turned one of the best rounds of the day into a 1-over 71 that kept him at the bottom of the pack.
"I put everything I had into that start and didn't have much at the end," Woods said. "Just ran out of gas."
Woods made his first birdie of the tournament on his 21st hole, a 10-foot putt on No. 3 that he thought he missed. He made four birdies in a six-hole stretch around the turn and was 5 under for his round through 13 holes, and four shots behind Henrik Stenson, who had yet to tee off.
That was as close as he got.
His tee shot on the 14th bounced off a tree and went deeper into the woods. He didn't think he could punch out to the fairway, so he tried a high fade through a gap in the trees to get into a bunker, allowing him a reasonable chance to save par. But it came out soft and settled about 50 yards short of the green. His next attempt over a tree went into the bunker, and Woods made double bogey.
After a bogey on the 16th – a tee shot toward trees on the right and a poor chip – Woods hit his 3-wood left all the way and into the water.
"My legs were just tired," Woods said. "I didn't rotate through the ball."
He dropped on a forward tee, and his fourth shot with a sand wedge came up short of the green and rolled down a slope. Woods went with a putter, but his ball didn't quite reach the green. Two putts led to a triple bogey.
He was at 4-over 144 for the tournament. It was the first time since the 2011 PGA Championship that Woods started a tournament with back-to-back rounds over par.
Woods never directly answered questions about his health, specifically his back.
"I'm tired," he said.
Asked if his back was OK, he replied, "It's been just a long, long grind."
Woods entered the Tour Championship as the No. 1 seed in the FedExCup. While he's not likely to win the tournament, he could still win the $10 million prize if Stenson, Adam Scott, Zach Johnson or Matt Kuchar don’t win. Stenson and Scott were at the top of the leaderboard.