Tiger Woods Finishes The National 2018 Strong with 4-Under 66 in Round 4

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

Tiger Woods reacts as he walks on the sixth hole during the final round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Potomac, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Tiger Woods enjoyed a strong finish Sunday in the 2018 Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Maryland, as he shot a four-under 66 in the fourth round to finish the tournament at 11 under.

Woods finished in a tie for fourth with Abraham Ancer, 10 shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Tiger was just two strokes behind second-place finisher Ryan Armour and one back of Sung Kang in third.

Sunday marked Woods' second-best round of the tournament, as he carded six birdies and two bogeys on the day.

Despite the quality performance, Tiger remains in search of his first win since 2013.

The 42-year-old veteran was especially strong on the front nine Sunday, as he played it at three under 32 with three birdies and no bogeys.

He showed some resourcefulness on the par-five second with a great shot out of the heavy rough to set up a short birdie putt, which he converted:


"Anything on the green here would be really good." How about 3 feet? @TigerWoods with a birdie. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/jMf2V0daNp

Woods went on a par binge before making his second birdie of the day on No. 7 thanks to a perfect, 20-foot birdie putt:


Tiger SLAMS in the birdie putt. Here come the fist pumps. T7. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/fvJcfRFnKK

The putting got even better on the eighth when Tiger managed to sneak home a 28-foot birdie putt to get himself to 10 under for the tournament:


Back-to-back birdies and it's getting loud. @TigerWoods is making a charge. 🐦🐦 #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/40jXNXUvbP

Woods' putting success Sunday was significant since it has been his Achilles' heel as of late.

According to PGATour.com, Tiger was just 89th in putting strokes gained entering The National. Considering putting has been one of his greatest strengths over the years, 89th is nowhere near where he needs to be.

Tiger made a putter change for The National, as he used a TaylorMade mallet putter rather than the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS he has long utilized.

While Woods was excellent on the front nine Sunday, things didn't go quite as smoothly on the back nine.

He bogeyed both No. 11 and No. 13; however, a birdie on the par-three 12th was sandwiched in between.

Tiger may have had his best shot of the day on No. 12, as his tee shot ended up just a few feet from the hole:


He's moved up to T5. @TigerWoods played this hole to perfection. #QuickHits https://t.co/mQOmq3aBzo

Woods found his form again over the final four holes, primarily on Nos. 15 and 16 with a pair of birdies.

He then parred the final two holes, and he did so in style on No. 18, as he sunk an intermediate-length putt and followed it up with a fist pump to close out a good all-around performance at The National:


One final fist pump. @TigerWoods' final-round 66 leaves him at solo 5th. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/TbETWhT5fi

Despite the fact that Tiger did a lot of good things on the green Sunday, he seemingly left a few strokes on the course that could have allowed him to finish solo second.

ESPN.com's Bob Harig expressed a similar sentiment:

Bob Harig @BobHarig

A strange 66 for Tiger. Lots of good. Lots of not so good. Coulda woulda

Woods finished the tournament with as many birdies as Molinari, and he said that he had a "good, solid day" on Sunday, according to Golf.com's Josh Berhow.

In the end, Woods had no prayer of contending for the win since Molinari was a class above the rest of the field throughout the week despite Tiger matching him in the birdie department.

Tiger was in contention for much of the tournament, though, and he seems to be trending in a positive direction as the season wears on.

The next step for Woods is The Open Championship in three weeks, as he will look to win the 15th major of his career, and his first since 2008.