Tiger Woods completed his first bogey-free round in almost two years to gain some positive momentum and confidence ahead of the Open Championship, the third major of the season in 10 days.
He shot a three-under par 67 round yesterday at The Greenbrier Classic, but he did play like the Woods of old, finding 12 out of 14 fairways and hitting 15 out of 18 greens in regulation.
The last time he played a professional round without making a bogey was during the first 18 of the 2013 Barclays Open. He has played 54 rounds since then.
The former world No1 finally finished on seven-under par 273 for the tournament, which should see him finish in the mid-30s, but could have gone a lot lower on the final day if not for a putter that refused to cooperate.
Tiger Woods posted a score of 67 today after posting a 66 in the 1st round of the event His 2 lowest scores in any round since March 2014
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 5, 2015
At the time of going to press, the red-hot American Kevin Kisner had taken the clubhouse lead at 13-under par following a round of six-under par 64.
The American, with four top-eight finishes in his last eight tournaments, made seven birdies and a solitary bogey.
A satisfied Woods said after the round: “Today was a good day. I played really well today.
“It’s the best I have hit it in a very long time. I had full control over all the clubs. I hit it great, I shaped it both ways, right-to-left, left-to-right, I had it all on call today.
“I just need to make some putts. Today was just one of those days. The putts that I read perfectly, I hit right, they still lipped out.
“I made absolutely nothing. I think we counted up, I had six lip-outs for birdie, so this could have been one of those special rounds, I really could have gone low.”
Woods had birdie or eagle chances on eight consecutive holes from 20 feet or inside, but could not make any of them.
The American had started the tournament with a round of four-under par 66, but that needed just 25 putts, while yesterday’s effort saw him make 31 putts.
The next tournament for Woods is the Open Championship at St Andrews, where he has won in 2000 and 2005, and he sounded optimistic about his chances again.
Tiger Woods, who used a putter: “I made absolutely nothing.” Robert Streb, who used a wedge: “LOL.”
— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) July 5, 2015
“I made some nice strides heading into the British Open,” he said. “I’ll do some good work next week and be ready come Thursday.”
Woods said the turning point for him was the Memorial, where he shot an 85 in the third round.
“I made a big, giant step at Memorial,” he said. “The pattern was set. I just had to refine it.
“This week we did that. We definitely refined it… I was excited about what I was able to do at Memorial, even though I shot those high numbers, shifting the baseline like I did. I’m here now in this position. I’m very excited about that.”
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