NASSAU, Bahamas – A 15-month layoff takes a toll, even when you’re Tiger Woods.
After showing flashes of brilliance throughout his much-anticipated return to competition, Woods stumbled to a 4-over 76 in the final round of the Hero World Challenge. The score left Woods alone in 15th place at 4 under for the week, 14 shots behind winner Hideki Matsuyama and ahead of only two pros in the limited-field event.
While he was able to get off to a fast start in each of the first three rounds, Woods was slow out of the gates Sunday, playing his first six holes in 3 over. His colorful scorecard included five birdies but also featured three bogeys and three double bogeys.
Woods reeled off three straight birdies on Nos. 7-9 to draw back to even for the day, but he played his next three holes in 4 over, a stretch that included a short par miss on No. 12. At one point in the middle of his round, Woods went eight straight holes without a par.
Despite the tumultuous close, Woods was optimistic when discussing his first competitive start since the 2015 Wyndham Championship.
“I think it was great to be back playing again, competing and playing against some of the best players in the world,” Woods said. “Unfortunately, I made a lot of mistakes this week. A lot of birdies, but also made a lot of mistakes.”
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On the back of a roller-coaster 1-under 69 and one of the most enteraining back nines of his career, Jordan Spieth won the 146th Open Championship on Sunday by three strokes over Matt Kuchar. Here’s how Spieth emerged from the practice area's equipment trailers to claim the claret jug on Sunday at Royal Birkdale:
Leaderboard (click here for full field scores): Spieth (-12), Kuchar (-9), Haotong Li (-6), Rory McIlroy (-5), Cabrera Bello (-5), Matthew Southgate (-4), Marc Leishman (-4), Alex Noren (-4)
The Champion Golfer of the Year: The win gives Spieth his 11th career Tour victory, his third major championship, and the third leg of the career Grand Slam. He did not make it easy on himself. Spieth squandered his three-shot lead in four holes and went to the back nine tied with Kuchar at 8 under after going out in 3-over 37. Still tied at 8 under through 12, Spieth played one of the most unforgettable holes in golf history at 13. After sailing his drive into a dune, he took an unplayable, walked onto the adjacent practice area, took relief from the parked equipment trailers and somehow – over the course of a half-hour – made bogey. Seemingly refocused and re-energized by the ordeal, he followed up with a birdie the par-3 14th and an eagle the par-5 15th and another birdie at the par-4 16th to take a two-shot lead with two to play. Thanks to yet another birdie at 17 and a par at 18, Spieth played his final five holes in 5 under to win by three - the same margin he started with on Sunday. He is now just one of two players – along with Jack Nicklaus – to win his third different major before the age of 24. He will have his first chance to complete the slam in three weeks at the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.
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ERIN, Wis. – Amid a crowded leaderboard and facing difficult conditions, Brooks Koepka barely broke a sweat en route to winning the U.S. Open.
Koepka had six birdies during a final-round 67 that turned a one-shot deficit into a four-shot win over Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama. It is Koepka’s second career PGA Tour victory, and at age 27 he is now a major champion.
"It's unbelievable. I don't know what to say right now," Koepka said. "To do it here, where I played the 2011 U.S. Amateur, is really special. it was a real team effort."
With winds gusting upwards of 30 mph at the start of the day, Koepka birdied each of his first two holes to move to the top of the standings. He added a lengthy birdie on No. 8 and despite a three-putt bogey on No. 10 he maintained at least a share of the lead across the entire back nine.
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