Tiger upbeat after Buick performance
It wasn't a win, but this week at the Buick Open had to be a bit of a moral victory for Tiger Woods.
Woods, who tied for third with Carlos Franco at 21-under 267, two strokes behind winner Vijay Singh and one shot behind John Daly, shot 67-68-66-66 on the Warwick Hills layout that surrendered red numbers by the bushel.
The World No. 1 made just one bogey in 72 holes (the par-4 15th on Friday), hit 59 of 72 greens in regulation and came away from the tournament with positive thoughts despite failing to capture his first stroke-play victory since last October.
"I'm very excited and I played really well this week," said Woods after a final round where he hit 11 of 14 fairways. "To have only one bogey for 72 holes is extremely positive, but also very disappointing I didn't win because I played so well.
"It's not too often you play that well and not win. But I had my looks at putts today and just didn't make them."
Woods shot 66-66 on the weekend and was unable to make up any ground on Singh (65-67) or Daly (66-66).
"The golf course was playing pretty easy out there today," Woods said. "I just didn't make any putts on the back nine. I had two good looks, actually three good looks at putts early in the back nine and didn't make them. Ended up costing me a chance to win the tournament."
After making the turn at 17-under, and rolling in a 17-footer for birdie on the 10th, Woods missed four birdie putts inside 15 feet on Nos. 11-15, including a four-footer on the 322-yard par-4 12th and was unable to get himself into the mix with Daly and Singh despite late birdies at Nos. 16 and 17.
Woods had just two par putts outside of two feet Sunday, and the other two were within four feet of the hole, as he let birdie opportunities go by the wayside.
"They weren't very hard putts," Woods said. "The hardest putt I made was on 13 and that was a pretty big, breaking putt and I made it. But the easy putts, I didn't make. And they weren't very hard and they weren't bouncing off line. I just hit two good putts and one really poor putt."
Still, Woods remained positive after posting four straight rounds in the 60s for the first time since the 2003 Buick Open, when he finished tied for second.
With the PGA Championship around the corner in two weeks, Woods finally has some momentum headed into Whistling Straits.
"The things I've been working on all summer long are starting to come together," said Woods, whose best major finish of the year is ninth at the British Open. "It's been a lot of fun to see some fruits of my hard labor there. I've had some very positive things happen this week. Even though I didn't win, I hit the ball very well this week. I had an opportunity to win this weekend."
Before trying to end his majorless streak at nine in Wisconsin, Woods heads to California to play in a made-for-TV exhibition Monday night with Daly, Masters champion Phil Mickelson and the Tour's longest hitter, Hank Kuehne.
"It's always a blast to play in that event," said Woods of The Battle at The Bridges. "We've had different formats, different things happen, and a lot of fun.
"JD [Daly] is playing extremely well. I think it just makes it that much more difficult for Hank and I to beat Phil and JD."
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