Tiger Woods finished play Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego with an inconsistent final round, shooting an even-par 72 to finish at three under for the tournament.
Woods couldn't quite maintain his solid rounds from Friday and Saturday, when he shot a one-under 71 and two-under 70, respectively. In the final round, which he began on the 10th hole, he paired four birdies with four bogeys, including on Nos. 4 and 7 after he had moved to five under for the tournament with his birdie on No. 2 in his back nine.
Woods started his day strongly, posting four straight pars before a birdie on No. 14.
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
Spin it back, drain the putt. 🐯🐦 #QuickHits https://t.co/heXEI8ldph2018-1-28 17:28:10
He followed that with a bogey on No. 15, a birdie on No. 16, another bogey on No. 17 and a third birdie on No. 18.
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
Tiger ste ... ps it in for a bounce-back birdie. He's -1 on the day. #QuickHits https://t.co/dBqi76WaCM2018-1-28 17:57:34
That set up Woods for the possibility to post a strong back nine, though his inconsistency left him at even for the day. One major positive to take away from Sunday's action, however, was that his driver looked solid all afternoon long:
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
These two drives from Tiger: Hole 1 - 358 yards Hole 2 - 352 yards #QuickHits https://t.co/avWxMD9aoR2018-1-28 18:54:57
He also faced some adversity on the day after a fan yelled during his backswing, per the Sporting News:
Sporting News @sportingnews
Tiger Woods missed the putt and was NOT happy after a fan screamed, “Get in the hole!” https://t.co/RL7D6PtJV62018-1-28 19:19:16
And there are major areas he can clean up in his game. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Woods hit just 17 fairways in San Diego. He's never reached fewer fairways in a PGA event where he's played all four rounds.
According to PGATour.com, Woods averaged 306.5 yards per drive, a driving accuracy of 21.4 percent, hit 66.7 percent of greens in regulation and picked up 0.9 strokes gained from putting.
It wasn't a perfect week, but there were more positives than negatives for Woods, and he looked as good golf fans have seen in years, per Jason Sobel of ESPN and Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press:
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN
Tiger Woods finishes 72-71-70-72. Only the second official event in the last five years where he played all four rounds at par or better. An unmitigated success this week. Gotta believe he knocked off some rust and will keep improving.2018-1-28 21:24:54
Doug Ferguson @dougferguson405
Tiger is a year older and looks 5 years younger than last year.2018-1-28 21:20:15
Not that Woods was completely enamored with his performance.
"I really wanted to shoot something around 65," he said after his round, per Sobel. "I thought that might be a playoff number."
Overall, however, he was happy with his play.
"Very pleased," he said when asked about his tournament on the CBS broadcast (h/t Bill Speros of GolfWeek.com). "Playing a solid four days. I fought hard for these scores."
Woods would thank the San Diego crowd on Twitter:
Tiger Woods @TigerWoods
Can’t thank the San Diego fans enough. I scrambled my butt off but happy with my first event back. See you at Riv!2018-1-29 00:09:44
Up next for Woods is the Los Angeles Open in February. He also has said he wants to play in the Masters come April, per Speros. Certainly, if Woods continues to build on his strong showing in San Diego, he could make some noise in Augusta.
Woods won't be a favorite to win any tournaments anytime soon, not after barely playing for two years. But he looked dramatically improved from the player who missed the cut at the Farmers a year ago.
While he may never be the dominant force he was as a younger man, Woods looked like a player who may have another intriguing chapter to write in what has been professional golf's most fascinating career.