There was plenty of drama for Tiger Woods in the final round of The Barclays in Jersey City, New Jersey, but he was unfortunately unable to come away with his sixth tournament win of the year.
After three straight days of scores in the 60s, the superstar was four strokes behind leader Gary Woodland, good for a tie for third place. This put him in the second-to-last group of the day with Kevin Chappell.
While Woods had a solid day of action with five birdies on Day 4, his three bogeys kept him one stroke away from leader Adam Scott when he entered the clubhouse. He ended the day with a 69, totaling 10 strokes under par for the tournament.
Justin Ray of ESPN provided this interesting statistic about Sunday's round:
Still, this was a solid performance on the final day from the No. 1 player in the world. Here is a look at Woods' fourth-round showing.
Fast Start on Front Nine
The first set of holes at Liberty National Golf Course were not always great to Woods in this tournament, as mentioned by ESPN Stats & Info notes:
However, Sunday was completely different. After notching pars on the first four holes, Woods got his first birdie of the day on No. 5 thanks to this impressive approach shot:
If anyone thought that was a fluke, he also birdied Nos. 6 and 8 after more impressive shots from the fairway:
Golf Channel's Jason Sobel pointed out what the win would mean to Tiger:
Of course, the 27-year-old Chappell was playing just as well and kept Woods from sharing the lead at No. 8:
Still, there is no question he was happy with the early start to remain in contention.
Trouble with Back Nine and Back
It was not a flawless day for Tiger despite his start. As top players like Adam Scott and Justin Rose remained close, Woods fell further from the lead thanks to a bogey on the par-four No. 10.
He hit his tee shot into the bunker and then struggled to get out of it with an up and down. On a positive note, he was receiving a lot of support from the Jersey City crowd:
However, the big issue came on No. 13, when he hooked a terrible shot as far left as humanly possible and then dropped to his knees in pain. As Cindy Boren from the Washington Post points out, he appeared to injure his back on the shot:
Here is a look at Woods' reaction:
While the injury was certainly an issue, saving himself from a terrible hole was crucial after an awful shot:
Fortunately, he was able to save bogey as he fell to nine strokes under par—two strokes back from the lead. While it appeared that Woods was gutting his way through injury in the final round, there were some questioning how hurt he truly was, including Sheldon Souray of the Anaheim Ducks:
Still, this remains a serious concern going forward for Tiger.
After a bogey on No. 15, it appeared as though Woods' chances for a comeback were slim to none. He had three holes left and was three strokes back of Australia's Adam Scott, who was already in the clubhouse. However, he came right back on No. 16 with an impressive birdie to get back into contention.
On the 17th hole, he once again hit a dart from the fairway onto the green about eight feet short of the hole. After a long examination, he put it perfectly into the center of the cup to move within one stroke of the lead. This certainly brought some excitement to those watching:
The drama continued on No. 18 after he hit his second shot a little bit off the green. With The Barclays on the line, he made a putt that stopped just inches from the hole:
Woods then tapped his last shot in to stay at 10-under for the tournament, carding a 69 on his final day—one stroke away from a playoff with Adam Scott. Tiger finished tied for second alongside Canada's Graham DeLaet and Englishman Justin Rose.
Woods entered the tournament as the No. 1 player in the FedEx Cup standings after an incredible year of play. After the first week of the playoffs, he is not in danger of elimination.
The top 100 players from The Barclays advance to next week's Deutsche Bank Championship. Players are continually eliminated at this event and the BMW Championship until only 30 remain for the Tour Championship.
At this point, the only real question is how or if Tiger's latest issues with his back will hinder him. Unless something dramatic happens, though, Woods should be at each event and will be right there competing for a FedEx title at East Lake Golf Course.
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