Tiger Woods' Missed Opportunities the Story of Round 4 at the Masters
The 2013 Masters tournament is officially in the books, as Adam Scott took home his first green jacket with a riveting playoff victory over Angel Cabrera. This marks the third playoff in five years at the Masters tournament.
The underlying story of the day, however, was Tiger Woods' missed opportunities.
It's rather comical that people are calling Woods' outing a disappointment, as he finished fourth in the field despite a third-round 73. With that being said, Woods, who finished four strokes off the lead at five-under par, had chances to win big.
It was all a matter of missed opportunities.
The unfortunate way to end your tournament.
Woods shot well, for the most part, converting 15 birdies during four rounds of action. Unfortunately, Woods also had eight bogeys and a critical two-shot penalty.
Which is where we begin.
The Controversial Penalty
During the third round of the 2013 Masters, Woods received a controversial two-stroke penalty for an illegal drop. This drew controversy from both ends of the spectrum, as some asked for him to be disqualified, and others claimed it was an unfair penalization.
As seen in the image provided above, there was a small disparity in positioning (via Augusta.com). Even still, this infraction commanded attention and the subsequent penalty Woods received.
Regardless of what you believe is right, one thing is clear—if not for the penalty, Woods would have been at five-under entering the final round.
With this in mind, Woods' fourth-round score would have brought him to eight-under at the 13th hole. While he did follow up with a 14th-hole bogey, such a score would have placed him right in the heart of competition.
Unfortunately, these are all a bunch of "ifs."
During the final round of The Masters, Tiger Woods had numerous opportunities to improve his score. In fact, Woods had birdie opportunities as soon as the first hole of the fourth round.
It's those early-hole struggles that decided Woods' finishing mark.
On the first hole, Woods' draw shot put him in position for a long birdie putt. Albeit difficult to convert, this is what we've come to expect Tiger to make when he's wearing red and black.
He failed to convert and ended up with a par.
On the second hole, Woods found his shot in the trees, but managed to escape with a second par. On the third hole, however, Tiger may have destroyed his chances at contention.
Despite setting up just seven to eight feet away from a birdie putt, Tiger missed and remained at three-under as the rest of the field moved forward.
On the fifth hole, Tiger attempted a two-putt par, but ended up missing the second attempt. This created the first of two bogeys that he'd push in during the first nine holes.
That proved to be too much for Woods to overcome.
Final 10 Brilliance
On the ninth hole, Woods finally netted a birdie putt to make it back to two-under. On the following hole, Woods made an obscene near-20-foot putt to bring his score to three-under.
On 13, he upped his score to four-under with another birdie.
Two holes later, Woods was back at it again. With an opportunity for an eagle to bring him to six-under, however, Tiger came up just off.
Fortunately, Woods tapped in for a birdie to make his score five-under—a mark that would have been significantly higher if not for his third-round penalty and front-nine woes.
That proved to be the story for Woods, as missed opportunities on the opening holes led to a weak impact on the final 10. Even as he caught fire, the two-stroke penalty and his early mishaps led to his finish of fourth.
It was a reputable end that could have gone much better if Woods had capitalized on his opportunities to win.
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