SAN DIEGO – It was either too little, too late, or a nice way to end an otherwise average week. Here are some thoughts and observations after one last trip around Torrey Pines with Tiger Woods, who rallied to shoot a final-round, 5-under 67 Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open:
• The main thought after walking off the ninth green: Where was this play all week? Woods was surgical around his final nine, shooting a 31 that could have been even better were it not for a three-putt par on No. 6. But all of the theatrics came while the tournament leaders were busy on the other side of the golf course, as Woods’ efforts to get to 10 under still left him well behind Justin Rose and the other contenders.
• Woods was still treading water when he made the turn, but his round shifted when he rolled in a 12-foot birdie on No. 2. Another birdied followed on the next hole from similar distance, and he closed with three more birdies on a day when he made just a single bogey.
• Woods said after the third round that he had set a goal of getting into double digits under par, one that he achieved after pouring in birdies on each of his final two holes. “Very proud of that,” he said. “You’ve got to have these little goals when you’re not in contention to win a tournament. But still something to end the week on.”
• The stat line from Tiger’s final trip around the South Course: Seven of 14 fairways, 15 of 18 greens in regulation and 30 putts. He was tied for 19th when he finished his final round.
• The Poa annua greens proved vexing for much of the week, but Woods finally got a few putts to drop coming down the stretch to climb toward the top 20 on the leaderboard. “I was hitting my putts on my lines, I just wasn’t reading them right,” he said. “When I read them right, they went in. Just need to read them correctly.”
• This was Woods’ first official Tour start since winning the Tour Championship, and he viewed it as a step in the right direction as he starts his season and begins prep for the Masters. “It was nice to shake off some rust and see what I need to work on,” he said. “I think I need to hit the ball a little bit better with my irons, hit the ball more pin-high, which I normally do a pretty good job of. This week wasn’t as good as I would like to have it.”
• Woods will now have two weeks off before reprising his role as tournament host at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles, where he missed the cut a year ago. “I just felt like I got better each and every day,” he said. “I got cleaner, my rounds got cleaner, and that’s what I want to have happen. I’ll be ready in a couple weeks.”