Woods is frustrated but encouraged.
By MITCH STACY
AP Sports Writer
DUBLIN, Ohio – Tiger Woods made it interesting again, but slipped from contention on the last day of a tournament.
Despite being done in by some poor putting at the Memorial, he believes there still was valuable progress.
“I keep getting a little better,” the 42-year-old Woods said after shooting an evenpar 72 on Sunday at Muirfield Village. “Week in, week out, I keep getting just a little bit more finetuned.
For instance this week, just to be able to make the slight adaptations after the first nine holes and be able to flip it around and shoot a respectable number.”
Woods started the final round five shots off the lead, the third time this year he has been within five to start the last day and couldn’t turn it into a win. Bryson DeChambeau won the event in a playoff.
Playing in the Memorial for the first time in three years, Woods birdied two of the first five holes Sunday before hitting from a fairway bunker on No. 6 to the rough in the back of the green. Still, he managed par.
He hit his approach over the green on No. 7 and settled for par again. He couldn’t make up any ground on the par-3 No. 8, either, leaving his second shot just short of the hole. Missing a 3-foot par putt on No. 10 was a killer. He made a slick birdie on the par-5 No. 11, but missed a 7-foot birdie putt on No. 12, then hit his tee shot out of bounds on the 13th and finished with a bogey.
He bogeyed the par-3 No. 16 when he missed another short putt, an unfortunate trend for Woods in a week when he was hitting the ball well off the tee.
He now turns his attention to the U.S. Open in two weeks. “I just need to hit better putts,” he said. “This week I didn’t really have, didn’t feel comfortable with my lines, and my feel was a little bit off. Consequently I missed a bunch of putts. But I hit it really good this week, so that’s a positive going into Shinnecock, where ball striking is going to be a must.”
Moving up and then falling back has become a trend for Woods in his comeback bid.