Tiger Woods Finishes Strong at Farmers Insurance Open with 5-Under Final Round

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2019

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 11th hole of the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course during the final round of the Farmers Insurance golf tournament Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Tiger Woods' first competitive tournament of 2019 has ended with him well out of contention.

That said, his fourth round was far closer to a roar than a whimper. 

The former world No. 1 concluded his 2019 Farmers Insurance Open by carding a five-under score of 67 to go into the clubhouse tied for 20th. He's nine strokes behind leader Justin Rose.

Playing in an event he's won a record seven times, Woods was never in contention this week. He never broke the 70 mark in the first three rounds, struggling throughout the event with his putter and ability to find the fairway. 

“It’s frustrating because I’m hitting a lot of good putts and they’re just not going in," Woods told reporters following a third-round 71.

Woods accomplished the goal he set for himself of getting to at least 10-under for the tournament.

“That would be nice,’’ Woods said Saturday. “It’s not too much to ask if I play well. If I drive it like this, hit my irons a little more crisp and make a few putts, I should be able do that. I’ve got to play a little bit better than I have, and if I can drive it like I did (Saturday) and hit my irons a little bit better and give myself plenty of looks."

Woods spent most of his fourth round struggling off the tee, hitting 50 percent of his fairways. He atoned for that with an excellent day with his irons, hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation to give himself birdie chances. The putts didn't fall with great consistency on the back nine (his front), but he got the ball rolling on the front.

Tiger finished with six birdies against one bogey, playing the back nine even before hitting five birdies in his final nine holes. He hit a 20-foot birdie on No. 15 for his first under-par score of the day before immediately giving it back two holes later, then found a rhythm starting with No. 2 on the front. Birdies on Nos. 2, 3 and 5 sent him soaring up the leaderboard before birdies on his final two holes.

Woods is still rounding his game into form and does not appear to have the momentum some thought he might after his victory last year at the Tour Championship.

For those expecting that victory to lead into a classic Tiger run, this was a disappointing result. For the more realistic bunch, though, this should have been expected. Tiger is 43 years old. The days of him being a world-beating force on the tour are over. He's clearly talented and healthy enough to have flashes of greatness as we saw him put it together on the back nine.

But there are going to be far more ties for 20th than victories in his future. It's time everyone gets used to the new normal with Tiger scheduled to play a more regular slate of tournaments this year. 

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