After 72 holes, it's safe to say that Tiger Woods' effort at the Greenbrier Classic was an unqualified success. He finished Sunday's final round with a 67 that pushed him to seven-under par for the tournament.
Winning wasn't on the table for Woods coming into the round, as he sat seven shots behind the quartet of leaders, so today was about continuing the string of strong golf he had played, particularly in the first two rounds.
Coming off Saturday's 71, it would have been rational to think Woods had hit the wall he's found in virtually every tournament this season. He acknowledged after the third round, via Kyle Porter of CBS Sports, that he left too many shots on the course early.
"I gave myself plenty of looks early to get something going...could've been three-, four-, five-under on [the] front nine and got nothing out of it," Woods said. "...I feel like I'm really close to putting it together."
Credit Woods for keeping things together. He's been saying his game is close for months, but this is the first time we on the outside have actual evidence to support his claim.
The most encouraging sign from Sunday's final round was that Woods didn't record a bogey, which hasn't happened in two years, per PGATour.com's Helen Ross:
One reason he was able to avoid extra shots was his ability to hit the fairway or green in regulation, per ESPN Stats and Info:
Golf is a difficult game, but sometimes a key to success is as simple as hitting the fairway off the tee, as Woods proved on Sunday.
Doing that sets you up for easy putts, as Woods' final shot of the round showed, via PGA Tour on Twitter:
Jeremy Schilling of PGA Magazine was particularly excited by virtually all aspects of Woods' game on Sunday:
For perspective on how much better Woods was this weekend than he's been at any other point in the past two years, this is the first time he's shot in the 60s over three rounds at a single event since the Barclays in August 2013.
In his perfect-world scenario, Woods would have been contending for a title this weekend before the British Open starts in two weeks. While that didn't pan out, he's certainly put himself in a position to be relevant at the next major.
In fact, ESPN's Jason Sobel noted prior to the start of Sunday's round that Woods seemed to be preparing for the British Open:
None of this is meant to suggest that Woods is back or ready to win at St. Andrews in two weeks. This tournament was a good first step, but it doesn't all come rushing back after three rounds under par.
Consistency has not been Woods' friend this season. He looked good at the Masters in April, firing consecutive rounds in the 60s, but needed 12 rounds before breaking that barrier once again. This is a solid start as he works his way back to relevancy.