So close! Tiger Woods comes up just short in British Open with final-round 71

July 23, 2018

Tiger Woods came up just short in his attempt to win his first title in more than 10 years, shooting an even-par 71 in the final round of the British Open at Carnoustie.

For a short while on Sunday, Woods held the outright lead and looked like his decade-long major drought would come to an end. But a double bogey at the 11th ultimately derailed his quest for major No. 15.

The wind picked up considerably on Sunday. The change in weather transformed the course into a brutal test that gave nearly all the players on the top of the leaderboard fits early in the day — all but Woods, who put together two birdies and no bogeys on the front nine, and at that point was the only player under par on the course.

The three-time Open champion looked solid from the start. He hit a great approach at the 1st only to burn the edge with his birdie putt. Pars followed at 2 and 3.

With other players on the course starting to drop shots, Woods made up ground with his first birdie of the day at the par-4 3rd. His iron from the rough found the middle of the green, and he rolled in 15-footer to move to six under, three shots behind co-leaders Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele.

At the par-5 6th, Woods pounded a drive into the fairway, hit a wood for his next shot and went for the green in two. His ball settled just on the front edge of the green.

Facing an awkward putt from 94 feet, Woods lagged it up to a comfortable range, then drained the short birdie putt to get to seven under.

Shortly thereafter, Spieth and Schauffele both made bogey at the par-4 5th. The bogeys dropped the pair to eight under, just one shot in front of Woods.

His tee shot at the par-3 8th found a greenside bunker, but with a nifty wedge shot Woods was able to save par.

As with many holes at Carnoustie with the wind blowing, par is more like a birdie, and that proved to be the case with Woods at 8. Schauffele made another bogey at 7, and Spieth dropped two shots with a double. That turn of events left Woods tied for the lead with Schauffele.

His round went sideways on the back nine.



At 11, a wild tee shot led to an even wilder second, which fortunately for Woods caromed off a spectator and ended up on a mound on the side of the green. Woods tried to flop it over a pot bunker onto the green from there, but his the ball never made it, and rolled off into a collection area.

After a chip and two-putt, Woods was left with a damaging double-bogey 6, dropping to five under and out of the lead.

Another bogey followed at the difficult 12th hole, thanks once again to a poor tee shot. Tiger got one back with a long birdie putt at the par-5 14th to get back to five under. But playing partner Francesco Molinari also made birdie, moving to sole possession of the lead at seven under.

At 15, Woods hit it just off the right edge of the green but was unable to convert the mid-ranger for birdie. His tee shot left him a long way from the cup. His 50-foot putt scared the hole but failed to drop, leading to another par.

Next up was the difficult par-4 17th hole, with Woods needing a birdie to keep pace and give himself a chance. His hit the fairway off the tee, but left his second shot well short of the hole and had to settle for par.

That left him needing a birdie on the finishing hole tie clubhouse leaders Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy to have any chance at a victory. Woods pulled driver at 18 and a fan yelled in the middle of his backswing, causing Tiger to give up on his finish and stare in the direction of the noise. His drive narrowly missed a pot bunker on the right side of the fairway and ended up in good position just to the right of the fairway.

He hit a beautiful gap wedge from 119 yards that stopped within 10 feet of the hole. But Woods was unable to sink one final birdie, tapping in for par and a 71.