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Tiger Woods had some positives and a lot of negatives in the final round of the Hero World Challenge, his first competitive tournament in more than a year.
A final-round score of 76 left him at four under for the tournament, good for 15th place in an 18-person field. Here is a breakdown of Sunday’s round in New Providence, Bahamas:
Hideki Matsuyama was far ahead of the field in first place atop an impressive leaderboard:
Inconsistency was a problem for Woods in this round as it was throughout the week. Every time he seemed to go on a run, he followed it up with some disappointing stretches. He had a run of eight holes in a row without a par, earning a combination of birdies, bogeys and double bogeys to create an interesting scorecard.
As PGA Tour noted, his best was pretty good during the tournament:
Tiger’s best score on each front-9 hole this week …
9: ? pic.twitter.com/uxI0Y4w6Gg
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 4, 2016
The problem was not every hole went as planned. Jason Sobel of ESPN described some of his struggles:
Tiger Woods just made his second double-bogey of the day and fifth of the week. Maybe that’s not a red shirt after all. It’s just rust.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) December 4, 2016
One of the most surprising developments was Woods’ problems on par-five holes, which he used to dominate regardless of the course. ESPN’s Bob Harig described his troubles:
Two double bogeys on par-5s today for #Tiger. He’s also made three bogeys on par-5s in the tournament.
— Bob Harig (@BobHarig) December 4, 2016
He finished three over on the four par fives in Round 4.
Another issue was simply being tired toward the end of his first full tournament in 15 months. Golf Channel’s Tiger Tracker explained this issue:
He has said fatigue has been a factor, and he may still be ragged today. Just shows this ain’t an overnight return. https://t.co/i8cNE9ohuz
— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) December 4, 2016
The superstar was able to bounce back down the stretch, however, earning back-to-back birdies on No. 14 and No. 15. He steadied himself out with a couple of pars, which were rare for the round.
Unfortunately, the round once again ended with disappointment with a nightmare 18th hole that featured an unplayable drive.
Roland Martin of TV One noted the problems he had all tournament with this hole:
Wow. Three out of four days @tigerwoods double bogeyed 18th hole. Finishes tourney at 4-under. Glad he’s back!
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) December 4, 2016
This dropped him to 76 for the round, his worst of the four this week.
Even with the poor finish, there were definitely some positives in the game. As PGA Tour showed, there was a lot of confidence in his drives:
When Tiger Woods hits a perfect drive … we can tell. https://t.co/ikiiZbHtRo
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 4, 2016
He also had five birdies on the day and 24 for the week, which indicates there are good shots in there if he can just find some consistency.
It will still likely be some time before Woods is a top contender at major tournaments again, if he is ever able to return to that level. However, this event was a positive step in the right direction for one of the greatest golfers of all time.
Woods and his agent, Mark Steinberg, haven’t announced a remaining schedule for the player, although overseas events are a possibility, per Harig. Returning to Torrey Pines in January for the Farmers Insurance Open could also be a safe bet if he is healthy.
Woods discussed his inconsistent play after the round, per USA Today:
I was playing aggressive; this golf course allows one to be aggressive. But also I made some bad mistakes. For instance, today I had two sevens. … Three doubles today, it adds up to a pretty high number. On the flip side is that I was able to be aggressive, made some birdies, made some putts. I just need to balance it out.
He will have some time to figure everything out before his next big event, but he will have to really limit the bogeys and double bogeys if he wants to stay competitive.
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