DUBLIN, Ohio – “Today was a lot better,” said Tiger Woods following a closing-round 74 at the Memorial that left him mired in last place.
He was actually 11 strokes better on Sunday following his third-round 85 that represented his highest score on the PGA Tour, but what moral victories he enjoyed will be short-lived with the U.S. Open just two weeks away and a game that’s clearly a work in progress.
“Just trying to shoot under par,” said Woods, who was first off on Sunday and played in two hours and 51 minutes by himself. “Just to go out there and shoot the best score I possibly can. Just because I'm in last place doesn't change how I play golf. Whether it's the first day or last day doesn't matter, play all out.”
Although Woods didn’t manage to finish in red figures for the day - he closed with a 2-over 74 - he did show improvement over Day 3 at Muirfield Village, moving to 3 under for the round with a birdie at No. 11.
As he has done all week, however, he stumbled on the closing nine with bogeys at Nos. 13 and 17 and double bogeys at the 15th and 18th holes. For the week he was 16 over on the inward loop and finished the tournament at 14 over.
When asked to assess his week Woods was blunt, “I did not win. Wasn’t even close,” he said.
Woods’ 302 total for the week was his highest four-round finish in his Tour career, besting his previous worst (at the 2010 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational) by four strokes.
Woods had particular trouble at the closing hole, playing the par 4 in 6 over for the week including a sloppy double bogey there on Sunday after missing the green long with his approach shot, hitting his third through the putting surface and his next just 4 feet.
“First I had to hit the fairway [at No. 18],” said Woods, who hit 9 of 14 fairways on Sunday for his best driving day of the week. “I was trying to just track one down there and roll it down the middle, but I spun it just a touch. Just kind of upshot it a little bit, and that's why I was behind the tree.”