Sore Tiger looks forward to rest
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PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 16: Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot on the 11th hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational on February 16, 2020 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Written by Ben Everill @BEverillGolfbet
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Through nine holes in Thursday’s opening round of The Genesis Invitational, tournament host Tiger Woods looked like he might be able to claim a fairytale 83rd PGA TOUR win at Riviera Country Club.
He’d gone out in 31 on Thursday, electrifying the crowds, but come Sunday afternoon the 44-year-old looked tired and stiff, finishing last of the 68 players who made the cut.
It was another week to lament at the famed course where Woods started his PGA TOUR career as a 16-year-old. He faded on the back nine of his rounds on Thursday and Friday and then shot 76-77 on the weekend to be 11 over par, some 22 shots behind winner Adam Scott.
Woods was full of praise for the event he and his foundation put on in its new elevated status, but could only try some self-deprecating humor when asked of his personal on course efforts.
“I did not do much well today. Good news, I hit every ball forward, not backwards, a couple sideways. But overall, I'm done,” he said. “I've been in this position many times unfortunately. Just keep fighting hole by hole, shot by shot and try to make some birdies, which I did not do.
“It's still disappointing, it's still frustrating, I'm still a little ticked. But I also look at it from a perspective which I didn't do most of my career, that I have a chance to play going down the road. A few years ago that wasn't the case.”
It was Saturday morning that the 82-time TOUR winner appeared a little worse for wear. Walking slower and just not swinging freely. With four back surgeries in his past, this is no longer a surprise to see every once in a while, particularly when he starts early in the cooler temperatures.
Woods will not play next week at the World Golf Championships – Mexico Championships, preferring to get some rest and focus on training. He was not concerned with his swing or the fact he lost over eight shots to the field average on the greens at Riviera. Indeed putting has always been an issue for Woods at Riviera.
“I was just off, it happens. I'm off and I got a chance to have the week off this week and do a little prep, a little practicing, some training, be at home and all positive things,” he said.
Woods did not confirm where he will play next, however his next start could possibly come at The Honda Classic (Feb 27-March 1) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Perhaps more likely will be the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard (March 5-8) where Woods is an eight-time champion at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando. THE PLAYERS Championship, which he has won twice, follows Bay Hill.
So far this season, Woods has claimed his 82nd PGA TOUR win at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in Japan, joining Sam Snead with the most wins of all-time. He then served as a playing captain at the Presidents Cup, guiding the U.S. to a comeback victory over the Internationals at Royal Melbourne in December.
A T9 finish followed at the Farmers Insurance Open in Torrey Pines in late January before his efforts this week at The Genesis Invitational. He is currently 20th in the FedExCup race.