Tiger Woods went 19 holes without a birdie over the weekend at Oak Hill and by the time they started dropping, late into his final round on Sunday, the world No. 1 looked like he needed some R&R for either his back or elbow.
Woods, everybody’s odds-on favorite to win his 15th major title entering this week’s PGA Championship, ended the first nine of his final round with a double bogey-six on the ninth hole. His "scripted" half-red/half-gray Sunday blouse was somehow appropriate for the half-hearted 4-over, T42 result Woods posted for the week when his final par putt fell well before the final duo of Jim Furyk and Jason Dufner took the field.
Perhaps more concerning than Woods exiting the stage for the fifth straight year without winning a grand slam event, was whatever caused him a few times toward the end of yet another disappointing major weekend to wince and fold his left arm behind him.
Woods’ first birdie since the 11th hole in Saturday’s third round finally fell on No. 12 and he went back-to-back on 14 and 15. By then, however, Tiger was looking forward to an early flight back to Jupiter, Fla., and ahead to April in Augusta, when he’ll have his next chance to capture that elusive 15th.
"That’s ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13, so five full years without a major for [Woods]," observed TNT analyst Ian Baker-Finch, who aced his math test.
Woods, who could not find the fairway off the tee all week, followed those birdies with three pars. But it was his approach shot from the rough into the timber way left on 18 that encapsulated his frustrating visit to Oak Hill.
"That pretty much sums it up," Jim Nantz intoned as CBS came on the air. "It has been a forgettable week for Tiger here in Rochester."
Quipped broadcasting partner Nick Faldo, "He’s been in more trees than Tarzan this week."
Wheels up in 30.