AAP Golf

Strong US Open finish not enough for Woods

By AAP Newswire

The crowd was roaring, the birdies were dropping and Tiger Woods looked like his vintage self for the final 12 holes of the US Open.

The problem for Woods was what happened over the first 60 holes.

Woods salvaged an otherwise disappointing weekend at Pebble Beach by making birdie on six of his final 12 holes on Sunday to finish the tournament at two-under par - far behind the top contenders on a weekend made for low scores.

Woods finally got in on the action after bogeys on four of the first six holes with an impressive turnaround that even he couldn't explain.

"I wish I would have known because I would have turned it around a little earlier than that, he said.

"Again, got off to another crappy start and was able to fight it off.

"Turned back around and got it to under par for the week which is, normally it's, a good thing but this week the guys are definitely taking to it."

The problem for Woods all weekend was his inability to take advantage of the scoring opportunities on the first seven holes at Pebble Beach.

He played that stretch at two-over par for the tournament and four over in the final two rounds.

However, Woods made a 15-footer for birdie at 7, hit an approach to 5 feet on 8 for another birdie and drained a 40-foot putt on 13, prompting a fan to yell, "The comeback has started!"

While that might have been a bit of hyperbole, Woods hit another great approach shot on 16 to get back under par for the tournament and closed it out with another on 18 to the delight of the fans.

The final round of 69 tied for Woods's second-best closing round at a US Open, behind only the 67 at Pebble Beach in 2000 when he had a record-setting 15-stroke win.

He plans to take a few weeks off from competition before gearing up for a run at his 16th career major next month at the British Open, played on an unfamiliar course to him at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

"I'm looking forward to getting up there and taking a look at the golf course and trying to figure out," Woods said.