Tiger Woods Encouraged By Genesis Invitational 'Progress' After Final Round 73
The 15-time Major winner said there had been encouraging signs in his first tournament of 2023
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Tiger Woods couldn’t recapture the impressive form of his Saturday performance in the fourth round of the Genesis invitational, but as he rolled in his putt for par on the 18th, he could make his way to the clubhouse with his head held high.
Even though Woods’ final round of 73 couldn’t match the heights of the 67 that preceded it a day earlier, the fact he completed four rounds for only the second time since his return from injury at last year’s Masters was an achievement in itself.
If Saturday’s round, which included three birdies and an eagle, evoked memories of the 15-time Major winner in his heyday, Sunday’s effort will have left him frustrated as errors crept into his game, including a few too many putts that came up short, to leave him on one under for the tournament.
This time, Woods could only manage two birdies, but more damaging were the five bogeys that peppered the round. There were still moments to savour, not least a stunning birdie putt at the 13th from off the green that made amends for a bogey on the 12th.
.@TigerWoods to get back under par 👏 pic.twitter.com/C3oAMuzqGUFebruary 19, 2023
The sequence was repeated on the 15th and 16th holes, when he bogeyed the first of them thanks to missing a four-foot putt before hitting his tee shot to within six feet of the hole on the 16th before holing the putt.
Two pars followed to finish his round and afterwards, Woods admitted the progress he had showed had been encouraging, but not without its challenges. He said: “Yeah, it means a lot. It's progress, headed in the right direction, yes. It certainly was a little bit more difficult than I probably let on. My team has been fantastic in getting my body recovered day to day and getting me ready to play each and every day. “
Woods also admitted he has one eye on playing all four of this year’s Majors, starting with April’s Masters. However, despite his highly creditable four days and fewer signs of physical struggle than last year’s performances, he reiterated that he can’t envisage a return to a regular PGA Tour schedule.
He said: “Here's the deal: Like I told you guys last year, I'm not going to play any more than probably the Majors and maybe a couple more. That's it, that's all my body will allow me to do. My back the way it is, all the surgeries I had on my back, my leg the way it is, I just can't.
"That's just going to be my future. So my intent last year was to play in all four Majors, I got three of the four. Hopefully this year I can get all four and maybe sprinkle in a few here and there. But that's it for the rest of my career. I know that and I understand that. That's just my reality.”
Woods also admitted he has a punishing recovery regime to get him through tournaments. He explained: “I pretty much lay in ice pretty much all night. It's not fun, very cold all the time. And then treatment, then getting muscles activated and go back and hop in the cold again. The ebb and flow of that, it's hard. It's hard mentally, it's hard physically.”
While Woods will now prepare for that planned appearance at Augusta National, he can reflect on a job well done at the Riviera Country Club this week, even though he couldn’t break his duck and win the tournament. He said: “It was progress, but obviously I didn't win. My streak continues here at Riv. So, no, I felt like the first couple days I left certainly a lot of shots out there with some putts, especially Friday when I was blocking everything. Yesterday was better.
"Still wish I could have gotten within a touch of the leaders, but today they're running away with it. Even with a good round yesterday I wouldn't have been in touch today.”
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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