2013 British Open: Tiger Woods’ weekend woes doom another shot at 15th major title

Matthew Lewis

Golf's No. 1 in the world comes up short at Muirfield in his seemingly never-ending quest to chalk up that 15th major championship.

Tiger Woods, after yet another woeful weekend that’s become par for the course for the world No. 1 who has yet to come from behind to win a major event, remains at 14 titles and counting.

"I've won 14 and in that spell where I haven't won since Torrey [the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines], I've been in there. It's not like I've lost my card and not playing out here. So I've won some tournaments in that stretch and I've been in probably about half the majors on the back nine on Sunday with a chance to win during that stretch," Woods told reporters after finishing in a tie for sixth place at 2-over.

"I want every one, are you kidding me?" he added. "I felt like I was really playing well today. Actually the whole week. I really hit so many good shots and really had control of my ball this week. As I said, it was just trying to get the speed and I just didn't get it."

Woods began Saturday a shot back of overnight leader Miguel Angel Jimenez, but ended his latest attempt to put a dent in Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors five strokes behind first-time British Open winner Phil Mickelson -- after adding a 3-over 74 on Sunday to Saturday’s 72.

Sunday’s performance went south from the get-go, when he failed to get his putts to the hole, and proceeded to get worse, as his shoulders slumped, expletives flew, and he found himself hacking out of the rough time and again.

"It’s not the Tiger Woods we’re used to seeing," ESPN’s Paul Azinger said after Woods made a total mess -- and a bogey -- at the par-4 11th.

Azinger’s colleague, Curtis Strange, had an updated view of the guy just four majors shy of tying Nicklaus’ mark.

"Maybe it’s the Tiger Woods we’re getting used to seeing," said Strange, who was not alone in recognizing Woods’ recent travails.

Woods attempted a mini-comeback when he drilled a 25-footer for birdie on the par-3 12th, but it was too-little, too-late for Tiger, whose troubles began when he ran into the Lee Westwood buzz saw in the third round.

Westwood, who continues to chase his first major victory after finishing in a tie for third at 1-over, drilled an eagle putt from off the green at the fifth hole and tapped in for birdie on No. 6. Meanwhile, Woods’ bogey on the same hole on Saturday killed any momentum he hoped to gain after putting his driver in play for the first time in the tourney.

Woods has one more opportunity this season -- next month's PGA Championship at Oak Hill -- to cadge that darned 15th major, but a review of the history books shows why the owner of the Tiger Slam has not been a dead-lock cinch since Torrey to close the deal on Saturday and Sunday.

First there was Y.E. Yang, who shocked himself, Tiger, and the golf world by coming back to beat Woods in the 2009 PGA Championship after the best golfer in the world blew a chance for a wire-to-wire win with a 75 on Sunday.

More recently, Woods took a share of the two-day lead into the weekend, but shot 74 and 72 in last year’s PGA Championship that left him 11 shots back of winner Rory McIlroy. That was after he fell out of a tie for the 36-lead at the 2012 U.S. Open, where he ended up in share of 21st after 75-73 on Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s a sampling of some of Tiger’s other woe-begone weekend efforts:

2010 U.S. Open -- A 4-over 75 in the final round at Pebble Beach left Woods looking up at Graeme McDowell from a share of fourth place.

2010 British Open -- Woods got off to a blazing start with a 5-under 67, but closed out at T23 after failing to break par the rest of the way (73-73-72).

2011 Masters -- A 67 on Sunday was not enough to bring Tiger back after he carded a 74 on Saturday and had to settle for T4. Game, set, match: Charl Schwartzel.

2013 Masters -- A pair of 70s on the weekend were not good enough to get Woods beyond a share of fourth place, as he watched Adam Scott win his first green jacket.

2013 British Open -- 72-74 on Saturday and Sunday put Woods at 0-48 for major finales he starts behind the leader.

Somewhere, the Golden Bear can’t stop grinning.

More golf from SB Nation:

Phil wins his first Open

Phil celebrates in style

Tiger is not having a good time at the British Open

GIFs: Rinaldi laugh is back | Snedeker goes around the world

Final round leaderboard updates and coverage from Muirfield

A guide to Muirfield | A links course defined

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