After 55 holes at The Barclays, Woodland dropped a shot but still held a share of the lead and was in position to secure win No. 2 of the season.
Despite birdies on Nos. 4 and 7, a costly double bogey at the fifth and another bogey at the par-5 13th left Woodland scratching and clawing and trying to climb his way back up the leaderboard late on Sunday.
'Today I didn't have my A-Game,' Woodland said. 'Obviously I played well coming into today and hit some wayward shots early, but I found a way to hang in there and grind it out and gave myself a chance on the back nine on Sunday, which is everything you can ask for.'
Woodland fell to 10 under after a bogey at the 13th that included hitting it into the water off the tee, then sending his third shot over the green and failing to get up-and-down.
'Made a bad decision on 13. ... The wind fooled us. We thought it was across and it was obviously down, especially the second shot after I dropped, I hit it over the green.'
Woodland never dropped a shot after the 13th, but could never make a birdie and get back to 11 under.
He had a 10-foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole that would have gotten him into a playoff with Adam Scott, but he couldn't convert and ultimately tapped in for par and finished T-2.
'Hit (the putt on 18) right where I wanted to. Just went the other direction, but all in all, you know, frustrating. Came here to win and didn't have enough at the end.'