Woods finishes dismal week with 77, ends up in second-to-last place

tiger woods
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For the first time since 2003, Tiger Woods shot over par in every round of a tournament this week.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series:

Published: Sunday, August 08, 2010 | 1:19 p.m.

Tiger Woods has never looked worse.

As he has done so often on Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Woods doffed his cap as he walked up toward the 18th green to warm applause from fans who occupied every seat in the grandstand.

Only there was no trophy waiting for him. This sounded more like a sympathy cheer.

The world's No. 1 player looked utterly beaten, and he was.

"Shooting 18 over par is not fun," Woods said. "I don't see how it can be fun shooting 18 over."

He missed one last birdie putt to close with a 77. That gave Woods the highest 72-hole score -- 298 -- of any PGA Tour event he ever played, even as an amateur. It was the first time he shot over par in all four rounds since the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

This from a guy who had never finished worse than fourth at Firestone in 11 previous events, who had not shot over par on the South Course since 2006, who last year made PGA Tour history by winning for the seventh time on the same course.

The numbers associated with Woods always have been staggering, now more than ever.

His 298 was 39 shots higher than the record score he shot 10 years ago at Firestone. He tied for 78th, the highest finish of his PGA Tour career. Only Henrik Stenson (20-over 300) kept Woods from finishing dead last. He set a career low by making bogey or worse on 25 of the 72 holes.

No one expected him to dominate as he did before revelations of his sexual escapades in November.

No one could have imagined this.

"He's just not the regular Tiger we're used to seeing," said Anthony Kim, who played his first tournament in three months after thumb surgery and beat Woods by two shots. "He's obviously had a lot of stuff going on, and he's dealing with that, and that's obviously more important than golf. Because I think golf is an easy thing to do once your personal life is straightened out. And I'm sure it's going to happen soon for him."

How soon?

Not even Woods knows. Perhaps more troubling for him -- and the PGA Tour -- is he doesn't know how much longer he can play this year. With two tournaments remaining before the FedExCup playoffs get under way, Woods is not guaranteed of being in the top 125 to get into the opening event at The Barclays.

CBS Sports, which televises the most weekends on the tour, has not had Woods live on Sunday since the Memorial two months ago.

Woods will slip further down the Ryder Cup standings, and the question is no longer whether he would play as a captain's pick. The question is whether U.S. Captain Corey Pavin should even pick him.

He looks like any other player out there. Just watching the shots he hits, someone could question what he's doing on the PGA Tour.

On the par-3 seventh, Woods got the club stuck behind him and caught the ball so fat that he came up 25 yards short, barely getting into the bunker. Worse yet was the 14th. He came up just short into the collar of the rough, about 45 feet short, leaving him a straightforward chip. Woods knocked it 12 feet by the flag, just off the green, putted 5 feet by the hole and took double bogey.

Even in the best of times, Woods has hit bad shots. Everyone does. But this was amateur stuff.

Pavin might be doing him a disservice to put him on the Ryder Cup team and expose him at an event where players have to be sharp in their thinking and the shots they play.

Woods began the week by saying he intended to qualify for the Ryder Cup team. Asked if he even wanted to play, Woods replied with a stoic look, "Not playing like this, definitely not.

"I wouldn't help the team if I'm playing like this," he said. "No one would help the team if they're shooting 18 over par."

He didn’t rule himself out, however.

"I think I can turn it around,” he added. “We have a lot of time between now and then (Oct. 1-3), which is good."

That time starts Thursday with the PGA Championship. Does it end there, too? Because if Woods plays at Whistling Straits the way he did at Firestone, he won't be around for the weekend and might not be eligible for a PGA Tour event -- unless he plays Greensboro -- until the Ryder Cup.

His mood has not been that dour despite the poor scores. He worked hard on his swing on the practice range Sunday morning, constantly rehearsing and exaggerating some moves to get the club where he wanted it. And he smiled and chatted with Kim throughout the round.

Toward the end, however, Woods looked resigned. There was only so much he could take.

The double bogey at 14. Then came a tee shot on the par-3 15th so far right that it hit a spectator. The loudest cheer Woods got all day was signing his glove and giving it to the man, and then he tossed him the ball after making bogey.

On the 16th, Woods didn't finish his swing as the ball sailed into the trees. He hit a tree on his next shot, which went 20 yards. From 261 yards out, he tries to slice a 3-wood out of the forest, back toward the green and over the water. It was vintage Woods, the gallery stunned by the flight of the ball, cheering in anticipation as it neared the green.

Splash!

It came up a few yards short. Another double bogey.

It was strange to see Woods playing the eighth hole, and realizing the entire back nine at Firestone was empty. He was in the second group off for the final round. As he lined up his putt on the 18th, a volunteer came over to her colleagues to hand out lunch vouchers.

By lunchtime, Woods was on his way to the airport for a quick flight to Wisconsin, where he planned to play Whistling Straits.

"I could probably play 18 and still watch the guys finish (the Bridgestone Invitational)," he said with a smile.

Woods felt as though he were making baby steps. His driving was the best it had been all year at Aronimink and St. Andrews, only for his putter to let him down. This week, nothing worked.

Woods said he was not surprised.

"It's been a long year," he said, looking and sounding like a player who has lost his direction.


Comments

fanchbeast

Without a doubt Tiger Woods is an awesome golfer, has been for a long time and will be for a long time. Right now at this time, with all of the crap on his plate, which, by the way, he put there himself, he needs to go away for a while...get out of the spotlight. Tiger Woods is an extremely high profile celebrity, does he expect for the media to leave him alone? There are alot of great golfers on the PGA Tour! The #1 rank should be up for grabs!

fordtruckdude22

yo ok all these fucking haters just gotta leave my man tiger alone so he can deal with the shit that he has going on in his life. I mean how would u feel if the press went all up in your shit for fucking 11 months strait!!!

you wanna argue this with me get at me!!!

NO REGRETS!!!

petethompson6545

In this world that we share with all that are in it, a few stand out as big as Tiger. And, of course, I'm not just talking about golf. It is a wonder that I have seen the best golf ever played by a young person, as I have with Tiger. Yes, I've seen and lived with them all, but Tiger's play is the best. All the good he has done for golf will not be fully felt for years to come as the young people he has inspired and the opportunities he has furnished them to learn this nobel game. He is a man of emotions and that can certainly effect a person's persona. For whatever happens to this wonderful golfer, I am privileged to have lived during his time as a champion.

edeninthedesert

Great article.., and I appreciated that this one focused on 'how' he maintained his grace, especially in the final press conference, under this enormous pressure when also at that time, he thought Phil might play better and he would lose his No.1 standing on top of it all. I pray he will find the mental game again, because those fundamentals are there, obviously, and are only being blocked by his own self-doubt. Tiger, win this final major.., get one closer to Jack's record.., and right the ship. I know it's not that easy.., but then again.., it is.

aasabia

Welldone Tiger for the courage to step out there. We all make mistakes and the earlier you stand up on your feet and move on, leaving all that had happened behind and be a better Tiger than the world has ever seen the better. Morgan Smith said it all, go seek God, you'll have your PEACE back.
Tiger its a bend in the road and not the end of the road. I'm your fan and I love you all the way. I started playing golf as a hobbie because of you.

tinatater

Come on Folks?...this is Tiger Woods who has brought ALL of you playing the game of golf...Yes he is struggling...but NO ONE makes the game worth while watching....more than him! There is no one on this tour who makes the "magic" shots he makes and takes! The media is constantly up his...A-- and NEVER let's up!!! You all go out there with what's on his shoulders right now and play the game of golf...You wouldn't shoot good golf either! Now granted I didn't like what he did either...however this is THEE best player in the sport and world of golf! Tiger....when you come back...I hope it's with a vengence!!! Anything to get all these media monkeys off your back! Go Tiger!

uofmdguy1

In my honest opinon Mr. Woods domination of the PGA tour is very much over but let me start with I am a fan of Tiger and would love to see him do well but, the young guys out there have no fear of him and his mental state right now will not allow him to achive the results he is use to. I feel the Tiger who's won 70+ PGA tournaments will be hard pressed to win again and a major I think is out of the question. Golf is a mental game and Tigers mental state is trashed, with his mental state the way it is his confidence drops and the results BAD GOLF a hole that is very difficult to dig out of. Tiger is just one of the guys on tour now sure he will hit amazing shots but seeing him in the final groups few and far between. Really hope I'm wrong cause I would love to see him play well. To put it plainly Tiger is just going through the motions.

smorganw

Tiger needs help from God to get his life back to order with his family.Then with Him on his side his golf game will be back just as good as before.Think hard about it Tirger,I will always be ur fan.

purplehayes1469

Keep your head up Tiger, anybody who plays this game knows how hard it is to play good all the time. I hope that you are on a healing path for yourself which is a much bigger deal that if you make a 5 footer.When your spirit and drive for life comes back so will the golf game. Our society puts a man or women on a pedastal right or wrong and when and if they stumble the media wants to dig up dirt.kick them when they are down, air your dirty laundry how ever you want to say it. Keep grinding and your path to a better life can still be in front of you

happyunicorn45

Hang in there Tiger. Don't like what u did, but u r the best at what u do. Family should always be first in your life after God. The rest just follows.

kerryshoudy

Just goes to show that he's human after all!! I would be happy with his score.

pcutler2002

I was watching the tour and the part with tiger woods..it seemed like he wasn't doing good what so ever..i'm hoping that he can turn it around and make things work..

happygyrl21

Everyone in life goes through their ups and downs. Tiger Woods is no exception. I have faith that one day soon, He will get his game back to normal. We as fans need to support him, pray for him during these trying times and be there for him. A real fan supports and not just a season fan. Rooting for you all the way Tiger Woods!!!

hubertchevre

WGC BRIDEGESTONE 2010 sure is an amazing tournament, isn'tit ? Where you see, on the third round, Tiger WOODS play 75 (+5) and Katsumasa MIYAMOTO (I never heard of) 62 (-8) !! And, in this fourth round, Phil MICKELSON play the first nine holes in 41 (+6) !!
Golf is a great game, but sometimes it turns crazy !!