January 27, 2019

Woods Closes in 67 at Torrey Pines Thanks to Hot Back 9

By Kevin Casey, author for Golfweek

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods got it going Sunday afternoon, but it was way too late to make much noise this week.

Still, it was a nice final round for Woods. He closed in 5-under 31 at Torrey Pines’ South Course for a 5-under 67. That Sunday score pushed him to 10 under overall and (at the moment) a tie for 19th – 29 spots higher than where he started the day.

Woods never sniffed contention this week, but at least he concluded his first start of 2019 with a flourish.

For most of his Sunday round, it was a ho-hum day.

Woods, who started his round at No. 10, opened with five straight pars. He rolled in a 20-footer for birdie at the par-4 15th but gave the stroke back two holes later with a bogey at the par-4 17th. He went out in even-par 36.

Then he heated up. Woods drained a 12-footer for birdie at the par-4 second and made it back-to-back when he dropped a 14-footer for birdie at the par-3 third.

The momentum appeared it would stall when he left himself 10 feet for par at the par-4 fourth, but Woods buried the putt to avoid falling back.

He followed that by firing his approach at the par-4 fifth into 3 feet. That gave him his third birdie in four holes and moved him to 8 under overall.

It seemed it would be four of five when he hit two marvelous shots at the par-5 sixth to leave himself a 35-footer for eagle on the correct tier. But Woods got sloppy at that moment. He ran his eagle putt 4 feet by and his remainder also raced 4 feet past the cup. Woods did make that comebacker, but it still left him with a disappointing three-putt par.

Two holes later, though, he fired his tee shot 10 feet beyond the pin and buried the putt to get to that 9 under number anyway.

He found the green in two at the par-5 ninth and calmly two-putted from 37 feet for a birdie-birdie finish for the second straight day.

Not a real inspiring week from Woods, but his final nine holes were certainly something to cheer about.

Overall he will have to play significantly better to contend in events in 2019, but there is no reason to overreact to one tournament.

Yes, he’s won this event at this venue seven times and captured a U.S. Open here as well. But his recent record has been rather pedestrian at Torrey, with his best showing since 2014 coming into this week being a T-23.

Woods could be in line to better that this week. He made the cut and closed out well for a possible top 20 in a week where he didn’t really do much.

So when Woods does get his game turned on again, watch out.


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