Tiger Woods turns focus to year’s final three majors after carding 77 at Augusta

By Sports Desk April 14, 2024

Tiger Woods immediately switched his focus to the season’s remaining majors after enlisting the help of his son Charlie before his 100th round in the Masters.

Charlie was pictured seemingly giving his dad some swing tips on the practice range at Augusta National, advice even a 15-time major champion may have welcomed following a demoralising third round of 82.

That was the 48-year-old’s worst score in the Masters by four shots and meant an early tee time on Sunday alongside Neal Shipley, the only amateur to make the cut.

Woods started in style with a 360-yard drive on the par-five second to help set up a straightforward birdie, but bogeyed the third after his chip from short of the green failed to climb the steep slope and rolled back to his feet.

Worse was soon to come on the fifth as a wild drive into the trees resulted in an unplayable lie and meant Woods had to be driven back to the tee to hit another ball, leading to a triple-bogey seven.

Another bogey on the sixth and three subsequent pars took Woods to the turn in 40, the same score he opened with in 1997 before covering the back nine in 30 on his way to a 12-shot win.

It was also five shots worse than playing partner Shipley, but Woods typically refused to throw in the towel and covered the back nine in 37 to return a closing 77.

Woods had previously targeted playing one tournament a month this year, with the remaining majors – the US PGA, US Open and Open Championship – the obvious targets.

“This is a golf course I knew going into it so I’ve got to do my homework going forward at Valhalla and Pinehurst and Troon, but that’s kind of the game-plan,” Woods said.

“I heard there were some changes at the next couple of sites so I’ve got to get up there early and check them out.”

Despite finishing last of the 60 players to make the weekend, Woods did at least make a record 24th consecutive cut and insisted: “It was a good week all around.

“I think that coming in not having played a full tournament in a very long time it was a good fight Thursday and Friday, unfortunately yesterday didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted to.

“It doesn’t take much to get out of position here. Unfortunately, I got out of position a lot yesterday and a couple times today.

“Today, the round that Tom (Kim, who shot 66) is playing is what I thought I had in my system and I just didn’t produce it.”

Woods finished his round an hour before the final pairing of Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa teed off, Scheffler having birdied the 18th in Saturday’s third round to hold a one-shot lead over the two-time major champion.

A birdie on the third briefly doubled Scheffler’s advantage, but the world number one promptly bogeyed the next after misjudging the wind and failing to get up and down from over the green.

Scheffler was also unable to save par from a bunker on the seventh and fell back into a four-way tie for the lead with Morikawa, Max Homa and Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg, who had birdied the second and seventh to continue his hugely impressive major championship debut.

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    Scottie Scheffler is unsure whether his arrest on Friday was a factor after a disappointing Saturday led to him finishing tied for eighth at a "hectic" PGA Championship.

    On Friday, world number one Scheffler was arrested outside Valhalla Golf Club ahead of his second round.

    It subsequently emerged that he faces charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

    Scheffler shot a five-under 66 in the delayed second round, one stroke better than his first round, but a two-over 73 on Saturday all but ended his hopes of back-to-back major wins.

    Xander Schauffele ultimately claimed his first major title at 21 under, eight shots ahead of Scheffler.

    Speaking after Sunday's final round, in which a run of seven birdies in 10 holes helped him card a 65, Scheffler said he was proud of the way he finished the event. 

    "I think 'hectic' would probably be a good description," Scheffler said. "I'm fairly tired, definitely a lot more tired than I have been finishing some other tournaments.

    "I'm proud of today how we went out there and fought. I got off to a slow start and I was able to get some momentum and post a good round.

    "Yesterday obviously was quite frustrating and a bit of a different day, but overall proud of how I fought this week. Was fortunate to be out here competing, doing what I love."

    Asked whether his arrest had an impact on his performance, Scheffler said: "It's hard to tell. I think I would attribute it mostly to a bad day. 

    "I think when you come out here to compete, you're doing what you can throughout the course of the round to post a score and I wasn't able to get that done yesterday.

    "Did I feel like myself? Absolutely not. Was my warm-up the way it usually is and the distractions the way they normally are? Absolutely not. 

    "I got arrested Friday morning and I showed up here and played a good round of golf. So I've been good throughout my career at leaving the off-course distractions at home and keeping a pretty quiet personal life.

    "I'm not going to sit here and say that I played poorly yesterday because of what happened on Friday. I just had a bad day out on the course and was proud of how I came out here and bounced back today."

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    Xander Schauffele secured a maiden major victory by winning the PGA Championship at Valhalla, which was the venue for McIlroy's last major triumph in 2014.

    McIlroy finished in a tie for 12th place and has often come close, recording 20 top-10 finishes in majors since winning his last, which is more than any other player during that span.

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    Asked about the state of his game, McIlroy said: "I'm feeling good about that.

    "I have been on a big stretch of golf here. I think this was my sixth event in seven weeks. I've got a week off and then I'm playing another four in a row.

    "I'm feeling good about my game. I feel like things are sort of clicking more, especially after the win in New Orleans. 

    "Obviously played well last week in Charlotte. Have a week here to sort of reset and try to get going again."

    McIlroy was in contention for glory after carding a five-under 66 on the first day at Valhalla.

    But he ultimately finished nine strokes behind Schauffele, as a difficult 71 on day two was followed up with creditable scores of 68 and 67 over the weekend’s play.

    McIlroy looked poised for another top-10 finish before finding the water twice on Sunday, but still emerged at four under for the day with seven birdies and three bogeys in an up-and-down final round.

    He continued: "Obviously I started the week well, and then I've obviously played decent over the weekend.

    "That six-hole stretch on the back nine [on Saturday], not being able to hole any putts, I'll probably rue that.

    "Then the 71 on Friday, as well, was obviously not what I was looking for. Obviously put myself too far back. 

    "Overall I am playing solid, game is in good shape, and I've got a week off and then another busy stretch coming up."

  • PGA Championship: Schauffele 'captured the moment' with maiden major victory PGA Championship: Schauffele 'captured the moment' with maiden major victory

    Xander Schauffele says that he captured the moment during his PGA Championship win after handling the big moments better than he had in the past.

    Schauffele won his maiden major victory with a dramatic one-shot win at Valhalla, Kentucky on Sunday, making history as he finished 21 under, the lowest 72-hole score in men’s major history.

    He held off late challenges from Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland to secure the Wanamaker Trophy after carding a 65 on the final day.

    "It feels amazing," Schauffele told reporters after his win.

    "Winning, I said it earlier, is a result. This is awesome, it's super sweet, but when I break it down, I'm really proud of how I handled certain moments on the course today, different from the past."

    "I was pretty nervous. I don't really remember it [the birdie putt] lipping in, I just heard everyone roaring and I looked up to the sky in relief.

    "I really did not want to go into a play-off with Bryson. Going up 18 with his length, it's not something that I was going to have a whole lot of fun with.

    "I was able to capture that moment there... I just kept telling myself I need to earn this, earn this and be in the moment, and I was able to do that."

    Despite lifting the trophy, Schauffele believes that he still has work to do to reach Scottie Scheffler.

    The world number one had a turbulent week, which saw him arrested ahead of the second round on Friday, and he finished joint-eighth.

    "All of us are climbing this massive mountain and at the top of the mountain is Scottie Scheffler," Schauffele added. "I won this today, but I'm still not that close to Scottie Scheffler in the big scheme of things.

    "I got one good hook up there in the mountain up on that cliff, and I'm still climbing. I might have a beer up there on that side of the hill there and enjoy this, but it's not that hard to chase when someone is so far ahead of you."

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