Tiger Woods remains stuck on 14 major championships after finishing his worst week ever as a professional in a major.
Woods, out of the hunt when Sunday started, thanks to a 6-over 76 on Saturday, played out the string to the tune of a 13-over 293 and the worst score in relation to par since he turned pro. After making a birdie on his first hole for the second straight day, his round -- much as it had on Saturday -- went south in a hurry, as he posted a triple-bogey eight on the par-5 second.
"There's always a lesson to be learned in every tournament whether you win or lose," Woods told PGATour.com after posting a final-round 74. "I'll look back at the things I did right and the things I did wrong. I did a lot of things right. Unfortunately I did a few things wrong as well."
What went very wrong for the 37-year-old winner of 78 PGA Tour events was his putting on Merion Golf Club’s quick, undulating greens. He hit 70 percent of fairways and 65 percent of greens in regulation, but needed 128 putts for the week. His reign as the top putter on tour seems so two weeks ago.
"I struggled with the speed all week," Woods said. "These greens are grainy. It's one of the older bent grasses, creeping bent. So it's a little bit grainy. I struggled with the speed, especially right around the hole, putts were breaking a lot more, I gave it a little more break and then it would hang.
"That's kind of the way it was this week."
Yes it was, and as a result, Woods finished in a tie for 39th, which, PGATour.com noted, would be his worst close of any U.S. Open after making the cut.
"Those are the wrong kind of records he wants to have," summed up NBC’s Johnny Miller.
Woods’ previous worst score to par in a major was a 12-over at the 2003 PGA Championship.