PGA Tour Championship Leaderboard 2012: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy Falter Late

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the final round of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods didn't play like the world's two best golfers in the final round of The Tour Championship on Sunday.

McIlroy struggled his way to a 74, after shooting a 69 in Round 1 and a 68 in Rounds 2 and 3. Woods shot a 72 and didn't quite have it at East Lake Golf Course for all four days.

Woods entered as the No. 2 seed in the FedEx Cup standings, but didn't play that way in the final tournament's most important round. He shot a 73 in Round 2 as well, but Sunday's four bogeys, and his double-bogey on hole No. 6, officially sunk his championship chances.

McIlroy played extremely well through three rounds. His first Tour Championship looked like a great possibility, but he couldn't find any consistency on Sunday. He had four bogeys and a double-bogey, offsetting those with two birdies.

McIlroy's day started to go downhill on the No. 4 hole. He couldn't find the fairway off the tee, and he couldn't turn it around with his short game. That bogey set the tone for the rest of the round.

Both players must be disappointed. They'd won a combined seven tournaments entering this four-day contest, but couldn't get it done when it really mattered.

Neither player played poorly overall, but each player had one fatal stretch. McIlroy bogeyed holes No. 4 and 7 and double-bogeyed No. 6, digging himself a hole he couldn't climb out of.

Woods avoided long stagnant stretches, but he couldn't make big shots. We've seen this pattern throughout the year. He won three tournaments, but Woods got in his own way at times.

Brandt Snedeker's victory was impressive, but everyone was watching Woods and McIlroy. Chances were there in the final round; capitalization on those opportunities was not.

This year's title meant something totally different to each athlete.

McIlroy has never won the coveted trophy; Woods hasn't done so since 2009. He failed to bring himself "back" by winning The Tour Championship.

The Tour Championship wasn't without excitement, but the field's two biggest names didn't live up to expectations.