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Tiger Woods didn't wait for PGA playoff chance

In what might have been the biggest gamble of his career, Tiger Woods admitted he went home to watch the final holes of the weather-hit U.S. PGA Championship despite being in contention to make a playoff.

After clawing his way back into a strong position with a final round two-under-par 68 that left him just two shots behind leader Phil Mickelson when play was suspended on Sunday, Woods decided to leave the Baltusrol Golf Club.

He returned to his Florida home confident his chances of securing a third major this season were over.

Mickelson returned on Monday to play his final five holes and claim his second career major. But at one stage a Mickelson stumble had allowed Woods to get within one shot of the lead.

"It was (a risk) but it wasn't either," Woods said as he prepared for the start of the NEC Invitational on Wednesday.

"These are the best players in the world. Look who's on the board.

"If you have guys who have never been there before, then it might have been a different story but each one of those guys had won a major championship up there on the board.

"There were three guys ahead of me (Mickelson, Thomas Bjorn and Steve Elkington) , two guys tied (Vijay Singh and Davis Love III) and (Retief) Goosen at one with two par fives.

"They're not coming back (to me)."

While Woods's evaluation of the situation was accurate, the world number one still ran the risk of producing what would have been one of the biggest blunders in sporting history had the PGA Championship gone to a playoff.

Although he dismissed any concern, Woods must have faced a few anxious moments on Monday.

Following the action on television from his gym, Woods would have watched Singh, Love and Goosen fail in their attempts to beat his total. With Mickelson and Bjorn bogeying 16th and 15th holes respectively, it brought the 10-times major winner to within one stroke of the lead.

"I was at home working, working on my game, trying to get ready for this week," said a nonchalant Woods. "Make sure everything is sound and solid.

"I caught a piece of it, I caught it towards the end, I was working out in the gym."

 

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