Tiger Woods Shoots 5-Under 66 in Final Round of 2020 Northern Trust

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2020

Tiger Woods fist pumps after making a putt for birdie on the 12th hole during the third round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Ryan Kang/Associated Press

Tiger Woods opened with four straight birdies en route to a five-under 66 in Sunday's final round of the 2020 Northern Trust at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts. 

Woods, who started the day 21 shots behind leader Dustin Johnson, carded six birdies and one bogey for his best round in the first tournament of the 2020 FedEx Cup playoffs. He walked off the course in a tie for 58th place at six under overall.


Birdie Birdie Birdie Birdie @TigerWoods drives the green on the par-4 4th and cleans up the 🐦. #QuickHits https://t.co/3YaB21YZtR

Although the 15-time major champion had no realistic path to victory entering Sunday, his strong performance was nevertheless a positive sign after lackluster results Friday and Saturday.

Most concerning was the poor iron play. Even in his deepest slumps over the years, which featured consistent two-way misses off the tee and an inability to make the clutch putts he made in his prime, his play with irons in his hands always provided hope of a comeback.

Woods hit just 55.6 percent of greens in regulation in the second round and 61.1 percent in the third. That number rebounded to 88.9 percent Sunday, helping spark his surge.


Tiger from 45 FEET! 😯 Three straight birdies to start his final round. #QuickHits https://t.co/37ZfNATHju

The other hopeful development for the 44-year-old Stanford product, a two-time FedEx Cup champion, was making it through his second straight event without any serious physical setbacks.

His troublesome back held up well through four rounds of the PGA Championship two weeks ago, and the same held true to open the playoff schedule. If he qualifies for all three postseason events, he'll end up playing four times in five weeks counting the U.S. Open in mid-September.

Woods is also the defending champion in the Masters, which is scheduled to tee off Nov. 12 after being postponed by the coronavirus pandemic in April.

The former top-ranked golfer in the world has struggled to string four strong rounds together in three appearances since the PGA Tour restarted in June, and he last posted four scores in the 60s during his victory at the Zozo Championship last October.


DEEP rough. Bad lie. No issue for @TigerWoods. #QuickHits https://t.co/t8P2Gk5bbP

One round isn't enough to make any definitive statement about a possible turnaround, but it'll at least send Woods to Olympia Fields Country Club for next week's BMW Championship on a high note.

He must be inside the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standings after the event to qualify for the Tour Championship.