Tiger's Sunday charge falls short, reminds us what we've been missing

Jonathan Hernandez
March 12, 2018

He laid well back off the 18th tee and hit his approach from 185 yards to just inside 40 feet.

The former world No 1 had to settle for a share of second place at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, posting a one-under 70 on Sunday to finish one short of victor Paul Casey.

Woods' second-place finish was his best finish on the PGA Tour in almost five years.

Former world number one Woods, playing his fourth US PGA Tour event since returning in January from spinal fusion surgery last April, fired a three-under-par 68 for a four-under total of 138. He has been a factor on Sunday the last two tournaments, and a gallery that stood 10-deep around just about every green could sense it. He is getting better with each tournament, though he didn't feel sharp with his irons on Sunday and played too often to the fat of the greens. "I keep getting a just little bit better and a little bit sharper".

A sensational 44-foot putt on the penultimate hole of his round was evidence that the Tiger of old is rising to the surface once again, as he told Sky Sports that he had relished his first big push to win a tournament on this latest comeback effort.

He missed birdie chances on both par 5s on the back nine, pulling a wedge into the rough at No. 11 and three-putting from 80 feet on No. 14.

Woods has won 79 times on the PGA Tour and victory on Sunday would bring him within two of all-time leader Sam Snead.

Reed three-putted the last to give up a share of the lead - his initial effort rolling back down a ridge to his feet - but Woods could not pull off a miracle, missing the target from 39 feet to ensure Casey prevailed.

Woods will play next at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, beginning March 15 (AEDT).

"Just a couple of things with my set-up and I was just trying to get my posture organised a little bit more. little things (that) just make for better passes through the golf ball". That putt was good for a birdie, pulling him within one entering the 18th hole. I said a couple of times if I don't win this thing, I actually want Tiger to win it.

Reed will look back on one putt.

Snedeker, coming off a sternum injury that knocked him out of golf for the second half of previous year, was equally impressive as the guy in his group everyone came to see.

Casey, meanwhile, surged to the front at 10-under after 14 holes as an English one-two finish loomed as a possibility.

A quick post-round congratulations from Valspar Championship runner-up Tiger Woods on Sunday was a nice turnabout from past meetings. I'm a fan of golf as much as I am a player.

Let's even go back to 2015, where Casey forced playoffs at the Northern Trust Open and the Travelers Championship. To be specific, in that span, he won five times on the European Tour.

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