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Tiger Woods 2018 results: A strong Sunday at Augusta ends with a 3-under 69

We didn’t get the fairytale finish we’d hoped for, but check Augusta off as another small step forward on the comeback trail.

The Masters - Final Round Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Though it wasn’t quite the magical Tiger Woods’ first Masters start in three years will finish on a high note — and with momentum for the rest of the season.

Big Cat put up his best turn through Augusta National of the week on Sunday, a 3-under-par 69 to put him at 1-over for the tournament and him nearly into Top-30 position for the championship. It’s Tiger’s first under par round since the third round of this very event in 2015, which is a heck of a long time without such a round for the best player of his generation.

The big move up the board came at the finish of his round, through the section of the second nine where the leaders will likely make hay later. This eagle at the 15th sent echoes through the course just as Patrick Reed and Rory Mcilroy were about to get started off the first tee.

After the round, Tiger told CBS’ Amanda Balionis that 69 was the “worst number he could’ve shot” today — with his putter not quite working well enough on the greens to capitalize on a day when Woods was nearly perfect off the tee. Don’t be mistaken, Tiger was way, way too far off the lead to think about playing his way into contention -- but an early 64 or 65 would’ve sent some major echoes through the course early on Sunday morning. What could’ve been, right?

Now, attention likely turns to The Players for Woods, who told Balionis he plans to take some time off after a fairly jam-packed run up to Augusta. TPC Sawgrass seems like the logical point we’ll see him next if that’s the case, though there’s been some rumblings about a Tiger appearance in New Orleans for the two-man team event at the Zurich Classic. Toss in his regular stop at The Memorial in early June and we’ve got three nicely spaced out stars between now at the U.S. Open.