What will it take for you to consider Tiger Woods “back”? Will he need to win a tournament, or is it enough that he’s in the mix on final day after final day? If your standard is the former, well, Woods isn’t quite here, but if you’re happy seeing Woods fight for a lead once again, well, these are good days for you.
Woods didn’t win the BMW Championship, which finished Monday due to a rainy weekend, but on two separate occasions he drew within a stroke of the lead. He ended up finishing three strokes behind Keegan Bradley, who defeated Justin Rose in a one-hole, sudden-death playoff, but there’s still success for Woods to build on … and problems to clean up.
His troubles dated to Friday, when he followed up an eight-under opening day with an even-par round … which, on a course as soft as Aronimink was playing, was the equivalent of moving backwards. Woods finished Saturday with another four-under round, then waited out the rain on Sunday and teed off Monday at -12. A four-under front nine put Woods right on the heels of leaders Justin Rose and Billy Horschel, but he stumbled with bogeys on 10 and 14 and couldn’t keep pace.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 10, 2018
Two back of the leaders at -17, Woods couldn’t sink an eight-foot birdie putt on 17 that would have drawn him back within a stroke of the lead. He finished the tournament at -17, not good enough to win, but more than good enough to keep himself in the FedEx Cup conversation.
Also worth noting: Woods wore his Sunday red — yes, it was Monday, roll with us here — and to some, the sweater looked a touch familiar:
Looks like Cat decided to break out his sweater from the '97 Masters for the first win of his second career… pic.twitter.com/Za1J6sWBFp
— Griffin Flesch (@griffinflesch) September 10, 2018
“I’ve played a few tournaments where I came close at the end, but just didn’t quite get the W,” Woods said afterward. “But to get to the end of the season and make it to the Tour Championship, considering what I’ve been through, is a pretty good accomplishment.”
Woods easily worked his way into the final 30 headed to East Lake for the Tour Championship, an impressive feat given that he only started playing serious tournaments in late January of this year. (Jordan Spieth, among many other notable names, didn’t make the cut.) Woods has missed the cut in only two of the 18 tournaments he’s played to date.