Tiger must learn how to win again
TIGER Woods admits he needs to learn to win again as he returns to the scene of one of the lowest points of his career this week.
Woods has won the Memorial Tournament five times but also shot the highest score of his career at Muirfield Village with an 85 in the third round on his last appearance in 2015.
That left Woods in last place and, with 71 players in the field, the former world No 1 was first out on his own for Sunday’s final round. “I didn’t want anyone to watch me play,” he joked at his pre-tournament press conference. “I tried and, unfortunately, that’s all I had.
“I take great pride throughout the years of never bagging it. I’ve tried in every single round and tried to fight to the end and, unfortunately, I shot 85, the highest round I’ve ever had and it didn’t feel very good.
“Unfortunately, on this golf course and hitting it as bad as I did, it just wasn’t good enough.”
Tournament host Jack Nicklaus had said earlier that Woods, who has won 79 times on the PGA Tour, was not immune from having to “learn how to win again”.
Nicklaus said he had to do the same on his way to an 18th major title in the 1986 Masters at the age of 46. Without a win in two years and struggling in the final round, Nicklaus birdied the ninth and 10th before storming home to become the oldest winner at Augusta National.
“I think there’s an understanding of what it takes to finish it off and get a win,” said Woods, who is playing his 10th tournament since undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April 2017. I’ve been on runs where it came pretty easy and other stretches where it was very difficult.
“To me this is a little bit different because it’s coming back off not really playing for a while. I remember the feelings when I was at Valspar (Championship in March), I had a chance to win there and finished second and it really felt comfortable.
“The last few times I’ve had a chance and been up there on the board I felt comfortable and, hopefully, I can shoot the low round when I need it.”
Woods is part of a world-class field at Muirfield Village which features eight of the world’s top 10, including new No 1 Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.