He arrived the overwhelming favorite, was in contention for two rounds, got drawn into a massive rules fiasco where some called for him to withdraw, but still tied for fourth place after a final-round 70 in which he couldn’t seem to get used to the greens.
“I had a hard time getting accustomed to the speed,” Woods said. “I struggled hitting putts hard enough.”
Woods put himself behind the proverbial 8-ball early in the final round with two bogeys in the first eight holes. Consecutive birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 helped right the ship but Woods was too far behind the leaders at that point.
“I played well, unfortunately I didn’t make enough putts,” said Woods, who figured he’d need to shoot 65 to win outright. “I certainly had an opportunity today.”
This week will be remembered more for Friday and Saturday than it will for Sunday.
Woods' third shot at the par-5 15th hole on Friday clanged off the flagstick and bounced back into the water. Woods ultimately made bogey, but a rules debacle ensued later that evening, well after Woods signed his scorecard.
The scene Saturday morning was surreal as Augusta National representatives met to decide Woods’ fate. Although many called for the Masters to disqualify Woods or have Woods withdraw from the event, he was slapped with a two-stroke penalty and allowed to continue.
Now we look forward to the U.S. Open at Merion, a place many say will not suit Woods. It’s now been five years since he last won a major (2008 U.S. Open) and when Woods arrives at the Masters next year it will have been nine years since he last donned the green jacket.