ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Tiger Woods struggled to hit fairways, greens and any meaningful putt on his way to a third-place finish at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Woods, playing the event for the first time, finished two strokes behind winner Robert Rock following his worse ballstriking round of the week.
“I didn’t hit the ball as well as I would have liked to,” said Woods, who closed with 72. “Today I was just a touch off.”
Woods, who began the day tied with Rock, fell behind after back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 4 and 5, but closed the gap to within a stroke through 13 holes. He failed to give himself any birdie chances coming down the stretch and familiar struggles kept Woods from catching Rock. For the day he hit two fairways, six greens in regulation but needed just 24 putts.
There was a moment of drama on the 18th hole when Rock carved his drive next to a rock and was forced to take an unplayable lie, but the Englishman mitigated the damage and made bogey to finish a stroke clear of Rory McIlroy (69).