For the second day in a row, Tiger Woods made a triple bogey before he had a birdie.
”It wasn’t that bad today,” he said. ”It was just one hole that cost me, obviously, a few shots.”
Woods, stricken with an erratic touch on the greens for most of the week, continued to struggle to find his game early in Sunday’s final round of the Memorial Tournament.
It took nine holes to make a triple-bogey 7 on Saturday. A day later, it took three.
After opening with two pars, Woods’ iron shot to the signature par-3 12th found the back bunker. Faced with an awkward stance — his left leg extended and his right knee resting on the edge of the trap — he advanced the ball just 15 feet, but at least improved his stance.
”I was just trying to put the ball against the face on the upslope on the other side so I had a chance to spin the next one,” Woods said. ”It actually rolled back on the bottom where there’s no sand.”
From there he blasted out, the ball running down a swale in the middle of the green, rolling to the first cut.
From 14 feet, however, he three-putted for the triple.
”I hit a decent (second shot from the sand) and it obviously skipped by,” Woods said. ”The first (putt) was awful; just bad speed. The second putt I pulled as well.”
The five-time Memorial winner and defending champion regrouped with five birdies against one bogey the rest of the way, but the damage had already been done. His closing even-par 72 left him at 8-over and a tie for 65th, 20 shots behind winner Matt Kuchar.
It was the farthest Woods had finished behind a winner in a full-field event. He finished 30 shots behind Hunter Mahan at Firestone in 2010 and 20 shots behind Tom Lehman in the 1996 Tour Championship at Southern Hills. Both those tournaments have limited fields with no cuts.
Woods had sagged to an 8-over 44 on the back nine in Saturday’s third round — the worst nine-hole score he has had since turning pro. That was part of a 79, which matched the second-worst score he’s had since playing for pay.
His score of 296 was his worst in 14 trips to the Memorial — eight shots higher than his previous high.