Tiger Woods fell short again in the final round of a major tournament, this time shooting a 3-over 74 Sunday at the British Open when the title was there for the taking, leaving him frustrated. Again.
Phil Mickelson put together a beautiful round, firing a 5-under 66 to come from eight shots back to overtake Lee Westwood for his fifth major championship. Meanwhile, Woods could not muster the necessary solid play to have his name inscribed on the coveted Claret Jug.
He blamed an inability to control the speed of his putts as his downfall. Again.
“It was frustrating,” Woods said. “I played well. I could just never get the speed [of the greens] right today. We started on the first day, and it progressively got slower. And that’s usually the opposite at most tournaments. It usually gets faster as the week goes on, but this week was different. And today I had a couple of opportunities to make a couple of putts and I left them short.”
Asked by some genius if the defeat was magnified because it was the Open Championship, Woods said, “I want every one, are you kidding me? I felt like I was really playing well today. Actually the whole week. I really hit so many good shots and really had control of my ball this week. As I said, it was just trying to get the speed and I just didn’t get it.”
This has a familiar ring to it, Woods offering excuses/reasons why he failed on the final day. It is 21 straight major losses since 2008. In this case, Woods preferred to look at Mickelson’s outstanding play over his failures.
“Well, I think if it does feel any better, it’s that Phil got to 3 [under],” Woods said after finishing at 2-over 286 for the tournament. “If he would have posted 1 [under], it would be a different story. I think a lot of us would be a little more ticked than we are now. But he posted 3 [under]. That’s a hell of a number.”
Woods had a bad start at Muirfield with bogeys on two of the first four holes, leaving himself long birdie putts that he could not lag enough, leading to three putts. He did not have the magic that has been a trademark of his career to mount anything resembling a charge.
He has not won a major when trailing after 54 holes. Westwood started the day with the lead, built it to as many as three shots before collapsing under the weight of the moment and Mickelson’s assault.