For the first time since the 2013 TOUR Championship, Tiger Woods shot the final round of a tournament under par. It’s also the first time in 56 competitive rounds that Woods shot a bogey free round of golf. Both signs of progress that we haven’t seen from Big Cat in quite some time coming at the Greenbrier Classic.
Woods showed flashes of the Tiger of old this weekend at The Old White TPC as he finished with a 3-under 67 in his final round, ending the tournament at 7-under. The most promising signs from the weekend had to come Eldrick’s tee shots. Here’s a look at his scorecard:
Woods finally stayed out of trouble with his driver, hitting 64% of his fairways for the tournament and was 12 of 14 for fairways hit on Sunday. He finally looked confident with the driver, with his tempo slowed down, Woods was finally able to consistently find the fairway and give himself good angles to the hole.
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When you can frequently find the middle of the fairway, finding the greens will be that much easier. In Tiger’s bogey free round he found 15 or 18 greens in regulation and he finished the week hitting 78% of the greens, tying for 14th in the field. He also was towards the top of the pack in proximity to the hole, which is where his demon of the week came into play: the putter.
Woods set himself up with plenty of good looks for birdie on Sunday, but he simply could not find the bottom of the cup, needing 31 putts for the day, despite hitting 15 greens. Tiger’s 3-under could have easily been a 6-under if he could have gotten his putter going, unfortunately that was not the case. Woods made great strides in strokes gained tee to green, gaining a whopping 4.2 strokes on the field for the week, but ended up losing a stroke with the flatstick.
“I really didn’t make anything today. I had the blocks with my putter today and just couldn’t — for some reason just couldn’t feel like I could let it go. Unfortunately just kind of how it was today.” -Tiger Woods after his third round
This week at the Greenbrier Classic was the best ball striking we’ve seen from Tiger all season. After some heinous rounds this year, he’s finally showing us the progress he says he’s been seeing in practice. It was starting to get a little concerning for Woods, but he is finally showed some positive signs in his game. He’s sacrificed some distance off the tee in order to give himself a better approach to the hole, which is helping to keep him in the red numbers and avoid bogeys.
If Big Cat can just get things going with the putter, he can easily start putting himself into contention. For now, it’s good to see signs of progress, as he starts his climb out of the hole he’s dug himself in. Tiger can only focus so much of his time trying to fix one thing, so now that he’s figured out his driving issues, we can expect he will start grinding away on the green.
Tiger will take the week off to make some final tune ups before he heads across the pond St. Andrews for the Open Championship starting on July 16th. Heading to the Old Course with some confidence in his game, Woods could have himself a promising week at the British Open.