NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – After staying in town an extra day, Tiger Woods and the rest of the field finally got a crack at the final round of the BMW Championship. Here are some thoughts and observations after walking a soggy 18 holes with the man as his bid for a comeback victory came up just short:
- Tiger started the day with a birdie on the opening hole, and that was a sign of things to come as he took dead aim at nearly every flag. Woods totaled seven birdies in his last trip around Aronimink as most of the field took full advantage of receptive greens and lift, clean and place conditions.
- A closing 5-under 65 left him at 17 under for the week, a total that's good enough to win most events on a par-70 layout. But this week it only earned him a tie for sixth, as he finished three shots out of a playoff between Justin Rose and Keegan Bradley.
- Woods had plenty of chances, and he'll rue a few that got away coming down the stretch. Namely, he'll look back on a 9-footer for birdie on 15 and a 13-footer two holes later and wonder whether they might have made a difference.
- In hindsight, the damage may have been done Friday afternoon, as Tiger shot an even-par 70 that included a pair of closing bogeys that left him with too big of a hole to dig himself out of over the final two rounds. "On a golf course like this," Woods said, "even par is not going to do a whole lot."
- As has been the case a few times this year, Woods faltered as soon as he got within reach of the lead. Both of his back-nine bogeys followed birdies that got him within a shot of the leaders and blunted any momentum he still had left. "I've played a few tournaments where I came close at the end, but just didn't quite get the W," Woods said.
- The near-miss was still good enough to earn Woods his first trip back to the season-ending Tour Championship since 2013. Given that a year ago he still wondered if he'd ever play again competitively, he described getting back to East Lake as "a pretty good accomplishment."
- :After entering the week 25th in points, Woods moved up to 20th with his result at Aronimink. It means he will need some help to win the FedExCup, even if he breaks a five-year victory drought at East Lake.
- Woods has struggled off the tee at different points this season, but he had no issues Monday on a wet layout with little if any roll. He hit 13 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation, giving his Scotty Cameron putter plenty of work down the stretch.
- Woods will now get a rare off week before heading to the season's final event, followed immediately by a trip to France for the Ryder Cup. "That was a pretty big goal at the beginning of the year," he said of making both events. "To be able to accomplish that is something I'm very proud of."