Cold putter mars Tiger Woods’s final round of Wells Fargo Championship
Another day of dismal putting led to a lackluster round for Tiger Woods.
Woods closed the Wells Fargo Championship with a three-over 74 on Sunday at Quail Hollow, his final tune-up before next week’s Players Championship.
Woods, who started the day nine shots behind 54-hole leader (and eventual winner) Jason Day, didn’t make a birdie and carded three bogeys en route to his first over par weekend score of the year (12 rounds). Woods was two over for the week and finished T55.
“I didn’t putt well again,” Woods said. “I hit a few good drives that were down the middle or on the sides and happened to catch the rough, but I felt I drove it pretty decent today. But I made nothing. The chances I did have I missed them all. It was just a bad week and the good news is that you wipe your hands clean and move on to the next one.”
The 14-time major champion’s troubles started on the first hole. Woods hit his drive well left on the par-4 opener, and after an approach into the greenside bunker he missed a 6-footer for par. He missed a 7-foot putt for par on the 3rd and parred the rest of the holes on the front.
Woods, who hit four fairways and 10 greens, had a good chance for his first birdie of the day on the par-5 10th, but he couldn’t convert from 5 feet. Woods saved par by making a 14-footer on 14, but he made his third bogey of the day on 15 when he three-putted from 18 feet. His missed par putt was from 4 1/2 feet.
Putting had been one of Woods’s strongest facets of his game since his return — he ranked 8th in Strokes Gained Putting (.739) entering the week — but a cold putter held him back during the first two rounds at Quail Hollow: he ranked 120th (-1.268) and 144th (-2.609), respectively. He turned it around and was 32nd (.547) in Strokes Gained Putting during Saturday’s 68, but he couldn’t continue the momentum on Sunday, losing 2.493 strokes to the field. He also had six three putts for the week.
Woods’s next start is in four days at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., where he’ll be grouped with Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler for the opening two rounds. Woods is a two-time winner of the Players.
“I obviously need to do some practicing with my putter,” Woods said. “I know those greens, I know the putts, but you have to hit the ball well there at the TPC — you just can’t get away with hitting it poorly.”