ATLANTA – It sounds like the PGA Tour’s dream scenario for the FedEx Cup finale.
steps to the tee at the par-3 18th hole on Sunday afternoon and hits a brilliant shot that lands 18 inches from the cup.
Well, that’s exactly what happened … but it wasn’t exactly a dream scenario.
Instead, that final-hole birdie was the culmination of a 2-over 72 that left him in a share of eighth place for the tournament and third in the final FedEx standings.
“Coming off the last couple years it's nice to be where I'm at and to be able to play in these things,” Woods said. “I played well pretty much all four playoff events. I just had a rough last round at Barclays. But other than that, it was a pretty solid four tournaments.”
It was a day that featured plenty of battling for Woods, who opened with a bogey, then added another on No. 5 and a double on the sixth. Birdies on three of his final 10 holes allowed him to keep the score respectable.
“I think this week my short game was really dialed in this week,” he explained. “I chipped and putted really well. I need to hit the ball a little better than I hit it certainly this weekend. Hit it great the first day, but after that it wasn't very good, especially on the weekend. Just fought hard to get where I was.”
In what was likely his final PGA Tour event of the year – he will play in various overseas and unofficial tournaments during the next three months – Woods earned his ninth top-10 finish in 19 starts. Thanks to three victories, he netted more than $6 million in earnings in what was clearly a bounce back season after two consecutive campaigns without finding the winner’s circle.
“Considering where I was at last year, it's nice to be where I'm at now,” Woods added. “I was obviously struggling with my health last year, and this year I was able to turn it around and I played some pretty good golf this year, which was good.”
Woods will now head to Medinah as part of his seventh United Statesteam. His lone victory remains 1999, and he maintains that he’s eager to claim a second this week.
“It's a lot of fun for us because we get to know everyone on a different level,” he said. “You build relationships that you have for the rest of your life because of these cups.”