PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods did not have the outcomes he needed on the Gamers Championship, however he nonetheless left the TPC Sawgrass Stadium course feeling good about the place his recreation is headed, particularly because it pertains to the Masters subsequent month.
“It is proper on monitor,” Woods mentioned after taking pictures his first spherical of the match within the 60s, a Three-under-par 69. “I really feel like I can form the ball each methods, which I will want [at Augusta National]. Simply want a number of extra putts to go in, however that is about it.”
Even on the greens, Woods noticed some enchancment on the Gamers, the place he had no Three-putts — after consecutive tournaments with six every — and took simply 26 putts on Sunday.
However he was additionally unusually common along with his iron play, rating properly down the sector in strokes gained, strategy to the inexperienced and tee to inexperienced after a surprisingly good driving week that noticed him rank fourth in that class.
Tiger Woods says taking final week off was the proper transfer and he feels he is in a very good place as he ramps up for the Masters. Tannen Maury/EPA
Woods completed at 282, 6 below par and in a tie for 30th, 10 photographs again of winner Rory McIlroy. He additionally dropped from 11th to 13th within the Official World Golf Rating.
“I am excited the best way I drove it,” he mentioned. “I drove the ball properly this week. I drove it not fairly as lengthy on the weekend with somewhat bit cooler temperatures, however I used to be driving it fairly straight, and I used to be in a position to form the golf ball each methods with all three of my woods, which was good to see.”
Woods birdied three of his first seven holes to shoot 33 on the entrance aspect, then stalled on the again, with a single birdie and his solely bogey on the 14th. He saved par on the 16th after his second shot ended up within the water and managed to stand up and down by chipping from the perimeter on the par-Three 17th — the place he left himself almost 60 toes from the opening.
So even when Tiger Woods is not threatening at tournaments up to now this yr, that does not imply he isn’t positioning himself properly for Augusta Nationwide.
Rory McIlroy rides two late birdies to carry off Jim Furyk on Sunday and win the Gamers Championship.
Typically, it was a good match for Woods, who tied for 11th right here final yr however was coming off a missed match per week in the past due to a neck pressure.
“I wanted that,” Woods mentioned of the day off. “I wanted to get that organized, and as I used to be telling you guys earlier within the week, if my again will get tight, it may go up the chain, and so I received to begin at floor zero and get my decrease again shifting correctly and get all the things good, and after that, all the things will care for itself.”
Though Woods missed a match he has received eight instances, the week off was doubtless for the very best, he mentioned.
“It was the proper resolution to make contemplating that I’ve April proper across the nook,” he mentioned. “Needed to ensure I get that organized coming into per week the place you may hit a number of photographs the place you are standing in your head having to hit some bizarre photographs, and the best way I used to be feeling in Mexico, that might have been a tall order for me.”
Nonetheless, the tie for 31st was Woods’ worst in 4 match begins this yr after a tie for 20th on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, a tie for 15th on the Genesis Open and a tie for 10th on the WGC-Mexico Championship. And the closest he has completed to the lead was eight strokes again of winner J.B. Holmes at Riviera.
This was Woods’ final stroke-play occasion earlier than the Masters, as his subsequent begin will likely be in two weeks on the WGC-Dell Match Play — a match he has received thrice however one he has not performed since 2013. He has additionally not competed in it at Austin Nation Membership, the place it has been performed since 2016.