Tiger Woods began the week as the official top golfer in the world and in the FedExCup standings. Still No. 1 in the rankings, Woods, who never got it going last week in Boston, limped into the bye week of the playoffs looking up at the new top gun on tour, 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship winner Henrik Stenson.
Woods, in his signature final-round red and black and accompanied in the rain-delayed Monday finish to the Labor Day tournament by his similarly clad six-year-old daughter Sam, struggled to a 2-over 73 in the finale that put him at 4-under and in a tie for 65th out of 76 players in the field.
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Finishing an astonishing 18 strokes behind Stenson knocked Woods down a peg to the second slot heading into the third leg of the playoffs, the BMW Championship, in two weeks.
"Wasn’t my week," Woods told reporters after a closing round in which he found only nine of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens in regulation and scuffled on the soggy TPC Boston greens that yielded buckets of birdies to everyone, it seemed, but the tournament host.
"Didn't play well and didn't make anything, so consequently I wasn't close to the lead," said Woods, who posted his highest closing-round score at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Woods began his day out of contention but came close to stuffing his approach shot on No. 10, his first hole of the day. He settled for a tap-in birdie and that was about it for the highlight reel for one-third of the "Big Three," who kicked off the event with such promise on Friday.
After three bogeys in his next five holes, Woods turned at 2-over 37 and posted an indifferent even-par on his incoming nine. Following the third round, when he needed 31 putts, Woods employed his flat stick 32 times on Monday.
"He hasn’t made a putt over six feet in two days, which on these greens is almost impossible," NBC’s Johnny Miller observed.
Indeed, the longest putt Woods made on Monday was a four-footer to save par on the 18th hole, his ninth. Then, after missing a short par putt on the par-4 first, Miller summed up the futility of Tiger’s week.
"He is making absolutely nothing right now," Miller said. "Four-under on this golf course, with what the field is doing, is like really bad for him."
As for the other members of the vaunted triumvirate, Adam Scott dipped to No. 3 on the FedExCup leaderboard after closing at 6-under and in a tie for 53rd. Phil Mickelson, who flirted with firing the magic number 59 on Friday, dropped to fifth in FEC points after carding his third of three straight 71s to finish at 8-under and in a share of 41st.
With the top 70 players advancing to Conway Farms Golf Club outside Chicago from Sept. 12-15, all three remain poised to hit the $10 million jackpot with a win at the Tour Championship at the end of this month. Should any one of the players within the top five triumph in the fourth and final playoff contest, he would also win the cup outright.
"We're just trying to play for position going to East Lake,'' Woods said. "What's important is obviously after Chicago, that I'm in the top five, hopefully first, so I have the best chance to win the cup."
Here are your updated FedExCup Standings heading to the third of four playoff events in Chicago:
|Rank||Rank Last Week||Player||Points|
|26||38||Brendon de Jonge||1,379|
|31||24||Charles Howell III||1,248|
|Eliminated from 2013 FedExCup|
|89||97||Bo Van Pelt||612|