Tiger Woods at WGC-Cadillac Championship 2014: Daily Scores, Leaderboard Updates
Fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods returns to the Blue Monster at Doral looking to defend his WGC-Cadillac Championship title.
Woods has won this tournament seven times since 1999 and set the course ablaze in 2013, finishing 19 shots under par to win by two strokes.
Despite his history at this event, Woods enters with mixed expectations after withdrawing from the Honda Classic last weekend with back spasms.
Woods addressed the injury ahead of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, per CBS Sports' Kyle Porter:
I feel better. It's been a long couple days of just treatment non-stop, trying to get everything calmed down. Treatment has gotten me to the point where I am now and then tomorrow (I'll) go all out.
But feeling better won't be enough for Woods to repeat as champion in 2014. He'll have to be on his game and likely overcome a good bit of pain in order to send a message to the rest of the field. After all, the world No. 1 has had a dismal start to the 2014 season.
Woods ranks No. 222 on the 2014 PGA money list coming into the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and hasn't recorded a finish better than 41st since the end of 2013.
Therefore, the 38-year-old superstar will have his work cut out for him this weekend.
With the tournament underway, let's get you up to speed on how Tiger is faring in Miami.
After one of the most brilliant rounds on the season for Woods on Saturday, the red polo was once again a symbol for another painful performance for the world's No. 1 golfer, as Tiger shot a six-over-par 78 in Round 4 to finish five over.
Woods got off to a rough start with three bogeys through the first six holes as he slipped out of the top 10 in the standings and never regained footing.
The early struggles for Woods persisted throughout the final round in the Cadillac Championship as it appeared his back problems once again hampered him. Here is a look at the leaderboard and a recap of Woods' final round.
Prior to teeing off on Sunday afternoon, Woods had already hinted at the fact that back pains were still lingering despite the great showing on Saturday. Woods told Steve DiMeglio of USA Today, "I was pretty sore last night, but my therapists are doing a fantastic job of getting me out here and playing."
Though he was still out on the course playing and didn't withdraw like he did at the Honda Classic, Woods was noticeably off his game. By The Min golf provided commentary on the struggles of Woods through the front nine.
While players like winner Jason Reed along with fan favorites Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson all surged through the course, Woods was spotted stretching on several holes simply trying to hold it together.
Through the back nine of the course, Woods once again holed in three bogies as he finished without a birdie on Sunday. Following a huge performance in the third round, Woods is once again departing from a tournament in pain and disappointment.
And with the Masters Tournament just over a month away on April 10, Woods' injury will be a huge storyline to watch ahead of the first major of the season.
If the last two Sundays are any indication of what's to come for the No. 1 golfer in the world, he could certainly use the time to heal if he has any plans on winning his next illusive major.
Moving day was just that for Tiger Woods at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. For the first time all season, Woods played up to his status as the world's top player, firing a six-under 66 to move back into contention for Sunday's final round.
Woods, his first two rounds mired in continued back issues and wildly variant play, was in his finest Doral form on Saturday. He carded eight birdies against two bogeys, playing with a consistent pace and swinging with a fluidity that's lacked for much of 2014.
After coming into the day tied for 25th and seemingly having little shot of repeating his 2013 title, Woods is now just three shots back of leader Patrick Reed. He's currently tied with Jamie Donaldson for fourth overall.
A day after draining possibly the most spectacular putt of his career, the individual moments weren't quite as high for Woods on Saturday. Taken as a whole, though, the roars of his gallery told the story.
Hitting the opening tee before noon, Woods got into a rhythm early. He started with a birdie on two of the first three holes of his day, and while he dropped a stroke on the fourth, he was right back at it with a red number on the fifth.
While his driver still wasn't entirely his friend on Saturday, the rest of his game was working in fine form. He hit a sterling 14 greens in regulation and took just 25 putts. The eight fairways hit, though, were the key.
Woods' drives had been all over the place the first two days in Doral. On Saturday, he took advantage of nearly every solid stroke. His birdie on No. 8 helped him finish his front nine with a 33 and set up a very nice back half. He hit four birdies against one bogey from holes No. 11 to No. 16, including a 35-foot birdie putt on the 15th—after which Woods could only smile.
While two pars closed out proceedings, it's hard to think Woods will be anything less than pleased with his outing.
Because this is Tiger and this is what we do, there is a big neon overreaction sign hanging over this round—just as there was over his initial struggles this season. Woods, at age 38, is constantly racing a battle against time that golf fans hope he wins. There's something to the fact he won the PGA Tour Player of the Year award last season. Then again, there's something to the fact he only won on courses he loves and hasn't won a major since 2008.
The truth is always somewhere in the murky middle. Tiger is neither on the brink of a career collapse, nor on the brink of being 2000 Tiger. As CBS Sports' Doug Gottlieb pointed out on Twitter, there's this weird obsession with it being one or the other: "Remember when Tiger was 'Done' …that was yesterday— 1 shot out today ….grrrrrr."
In the end, odds remain against Woods winning. He'll need another stellar round on Sunday, and nothing he's shown this season should give anyone confidence on a round-to-round basis. But this third round once again proved there is no golfer in the world capable of Woods' dizzying heights when he puts it all together.
Tiger Woods may not be having the WGC-Cadillac Championship that he was hoping to through two rounds, but he made some noise on Friday with the most impressive putt of the entire tournament.
Woods drained a near 92-foot putt on the fourth hole for an incredible birdie.
It was one of the highlights of his up-and-down second round. Woods finished with a one-over 73 on a long afternoon of golf. He was forced to finish his first round earlier on Friday after a rain delay and darkness cut play short on Thursday.
While Woods managed to wow the crowd with his long putt, his 73 was the result of five bogies and four birdies.
It was certainly a disappointing finish for Woods after he birdied the first two holes of his round. He was unable to carry over that early momentum, though, and actually tallied bogies on four of the next seven holes.
To his credit, Woods did salvage the round a bit by shooting two-under in his final six holes.
Woods finished the round in a tie for 34th place at five over par on the tournament. Here is a look at the top of the leaderboard at the time Woods finished play on Friday:
*Complete leaderboard available at PGATour.com.
Woods wasn’t the only one who struggled during the second round, as only Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed were sitting below par for the tournament by the time Woods finished. Sergio Garcia even had to take a nine on the par-five fifth hole.
Wind was certainly a factor, and Doral is always difficult as it is, even in perfect conditions.
Woods was also dealing with back issues, but his comments to reporters after Thursday’s play, as passed along by Matt Porter of The Palm Beach Post, seemed to indicate he was all right. "Warmup was good and I felt good all day even through the delay," Woods said. "I'm ready to go back out tomorrow and play well."
Looking ahead, Woods is certainly still in contention thanks in large part to the overall struggles of the entire field on Friday. He is talented enough to always be considered in striking range, and with only five strokes separating him from third place, look for him to make a move on Saturday.
If Woods can leapfrog some of the players in front of him, he will put pressure on Johnson atop the leaderboard come Sunday.
A lengthy rain delay on Thursday led darkness to set in before the entire field was able to finish the first round. When play resumed on Friday, Tiger Woods struggled mightily to find his groove and finished with a four-over 76.
Tiger Woods was only able to complete 10 holes on Thursday, and while the opportunity for a fresh start on Friday was welcomed after shooting two-over on the day, things only got worse as the round went on. Woods entered Friday tied for 47th, and that was largely due to his poor putting.
GolfChannel.com senior writer Jason Sobel put Tiger's early struggles into perspective:
Last year, Tiger Woods needed just 100 putts in 72 holes at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Today he needed 21 putts in 10 holes.
Woods' putting didn't get much better through the final eight holes of the first round, as he bogeyed 11 and 13, followed by a double bogey on 14.
Woods did his best to salvage the round with a string of birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th holes. Tiger seemed to be finding his range, which would have been a huge confidence boost ahead of the second round, but disaster struck on the 18th.
Tiger's errant tee shot found the water, and while he was able to save bogey, he ended the first round on a sour note just as he was starting to pick up steam.
With Woods tied for 54th place, here is a look at the leaderboard at the time of his first round's completion:
|T8||Miguel A. Jimenez||-2||F|
*Complete leaderboard available at PGATour.com.
Woods isn't out of it yet with three rounds to play, but he has a lot of work to do in the second round if he wants to continue playing this weekend. Another performance similar to what he did in the first round will signal an early end to his tournament.
Although unpleasant conditions held back most of the field on Thursday and Friday, Woods will need to become more confident with the putter as the tournament wears on in order to have any shot at contending.
Woods was optimistic that he could turn things around on Friday, per CBS Sports' Kyle Porter, saying, "Hopefully I can get back out there in the AM, play well and work back to even by the end of the first round. Then shoot a low one in the PM."
The first part of the equation didn't come to fruition, but he did some good things at the tail end of the first round aside from the disappointing bogey on 18.
According to the tournament's official Twitter account, the originally scheduled second-round tee times are still in place, so Woods has a long Friday ahead of him.
With only 10 holes complete through Thursday, Tiger will have to play 26 holes on Friday. Eight of them are already in the books, and the results were mixed to say the least.
The only consistent aspect of Woods' play recently has been inconsistency, so it's essentially impossible to predict how he'll fare in the second round.
Both good Tiger and bad Tiger made appearances on Friday morning, and Woods is obviously hopeful that the latter will take over in the second round of play.