Zero is a figure that will dog Tiger Woods for some time to come. That’s the number of times the 73-time PGA Tour winner has come from behind on a Sunday to win a major championship.
There are a slew of other stats that bloodlessly tell the narrative of why Woods, who shared the lead midway through last week’s U.S. Open, failed to grab a fourth Open and 15th major title that seemed almost a gimme heading into the third round. None of them, of course, says anything about Woods’ confidence level or state of mind after blowing one of his better chances in four years to grab that elusive No. 15, but we’ll leave that discussion for sports shrinks -- or another day.
After sharing the 36-hole edge with Jim Furyk and David Toms, Woods stumbled out of the gate on Saturday with a bogey and limped back in with a five on the par-4 18th and a 5-over 75. His third-round meltdown put Woods in the uncomfortable position of looking up at the front-runners, a spot from which he was 0-for-his career. Woods remained stuck in neutral after a disastrous final round, in which he started bogey-bogey-double bogey, and his opportunity to move one trophy closer to Jack Nicklaus’ magic number of 18 major wins disappeared into the San Francisco fog.
Afterward, Woods talked about all the pluses he took from a lost weekend of errant drives, poor approaches, and wayward putts.
"There's a lot of positives this week. Hit the ball really well. Unfortunately, I just didn't have the speed of the greens until today," Woods told reporters after carding a closing-round 73 for a week-long tally of 7-over, which eventually put him six shots back of Webb Simpson’s Open-winning score. "I hit the ball very well the first two days and, and as I said yesterday, I was just a fraction off; just a couple yards here and there and that's all it takes. I had so many balls that landed in the fairway that went into the rough."
Certainly, Woods was not alone in struggling to keep balls in the short stuff; even Simpson was only 31 of 56 fairways hit in regulation. But combine Tiger’s 33 of 56 fairways and 45 of 72 greens in regulation with 123 putts on a tough Olympic Club track and that was a recipe for T21, which is where Woods finished what started out as an oh-so-promising week.
Here are some other stats that round out Woods’ disappointing Open:
- 69 and 70 -- First- and second-round scores
- 1-under -- 36-hole score that shared the lead with Furyk and Toms
- 5-over 75 -- Worst score ever posted in pro career after holding at least a share of the 36-hole advantage; also, first over-par round at a major in which Woods at least shared the midway lead
- 4-over -- Number of strokes behind 54-hole co-leaders Furyk and Greame McDowell to start Sunday’s finale
- 6-over -- Score on the first six holes of Sunday’s final round
- 3-under -- Score on the final 12 holes that was too little, too late for a late-innings comeback
- 7-over 298 -- Final 2012 U.S. Open score
- 8 of 10 -- Number of majors won when at least sharing a 36-hole edge
- 0-for-12 -- Record in majors since winning No. 14 at Torrey Pines in the 2008 U.S. Open
- 36 -- Woods’ age
- July 19 -- Start of the British Open, Woods’ next chance to win major championship No. 15