Tiger takes putting positives from Quicken Loans
July 01, 2018
By Ben Everill , PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods' Round 4 highlights from Quicken Loans
BETHESDA, Md. – Tiger Woods may have missed some crucial putts from inside 10-feet at the Quicken Loans National but the 79-time PGA TOUR winner called his putter change a success and will take significant confidence from TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.
With rounds of 70-65-68-66 Woods finished at 11 under and in a tie for fourth but was 10-shots short of champion Francesco Molinari’s dominant performance.
This was despite matching Molinari’s tournament leading 21 birdies. (Molinari also had one eagle).
While a win was his ultimate goal Woods shelved some of his disappointment and was looking ahead to his next start at The Open Championship in Carnoustie.
Woods changed from the blade style putter that helped him win 13 of his 14 major championships to a mallet style this week and was able to rank seventh in the field for Strokes Gained: Putting.
It came after a handful of tournaments with little to no success on the greens.
“I've hit the ball well in this stretch, I just haven't made anything. And finally I'm starting to hit some putts, I'm starting to make those putts you're supposed to make from 10, 15 feet, but I'm also making some from outside 20,” Woods said.
“I haven't done that for the better part of two months. So that was nice to make over 100 foot of putts twice this week. That's a positive sign.”
While he did indeed make some lengthy putts he still missed 13 from inside 10 feet, ranking last of those players who made the cut.
Despite this Woods still claimed the putter was a winner.
“It felt good to start my ball on the lines again. I'm starting to see it, starting to feel it, and I had the pace pretty much good all week,” he said.
“The putts I missed, I hit a lot of good ones, which I don't mind because I hadn't been doing that for the better part of two months. Even my good ones didn't look very good, so this was nice.
“When I was struggling there for a little bit and I couldn't even cheer for my good ones. I really like the swing of this putter. I like feeling that toe move. It makes a big difference.”
Woods started the final round six shots off the lead and with an outside chance of notching up PGA TOUR win No. 80.
With three birdies on the opening nine holes he had thoughts of posting a number.
“I was only four back at the time when I made the turn and so I thought that maybe if I got on the back nine, I shot 30, maybe 29, that would be enough,” Woods said.
“Evidently, I would have to shoot 24 on the back nine … Francesco is just running away with it.”
He didn’t shoot 24. Or 29 or 30.
It was a 1-under 34 with three birdies and two bogeys.
Critically he played the easier 13th and 14th holes 1 over for the second-straight day.
“I bogeyed 13 twice and then didn't birdie 14 either day and I was right there next to the green,” Woods lamented.
“Those are things that I can't afford to do and expect to win a golf tournament.”
MOLINARI BREAKS ITALIAN DROUGHT … Francesco Molinari’s victory broke a long-standing drought for Italian golf fans on the PGA TOUR.
The 35-year-old is the first Italian to win on PGA TOUR since 1947 when Toney Penna had the last of his four career wins at the Atlanta Open.
“Obviously there's been quite a few Italians winning on the European Tour, but it's nice to be the first in a long time to win over here,” he said.
“It's one of the many reasons why I wanted to win over here so much. Hopefully, there's more to come.”
CARNOUSTIE HERE WE COME … Missing out on a chance to win a PGA TOUR event always stings but there was certainly some solace for Ryan Armour, Sung Kang, Abraham Ancer and Bronson Burgoon.
All four have booked a ticket to The Open at Carnoustie on July 19-22 after being the top four finishes not already exempt.
Armour’s final round 2-under 68 saw him take runner up status, moving him to 30th in the FedExCup.
The Open will be the 42-year-olds first major championship.
“I've always thought that my game could translate over there with hitting fairways and keeping it low to the ground, so I'm excited to see Carnoustie,” Armour said.
Kang put together a huge push on Sunday, shooting 6-under 64 to take third place.
It will be his fifth major and second start in The Open after a T44 finish last season.
Ancer dropped from the overnight lead with a 2-over 72 leaving him tied for fourth. He is yet to play a major championship.
“It's always been a dream come true to play The Open,” Ancer said.
“I've always watched since I was a little kid. It will be an incredible experience being there this year.”
The last spot went to Burgoon, who had a huge Sunday playing with Tiger Woods and then making a clutch birdie on the 18th hole to secure his spot in his first trip to The Open.
Coming into the week ranked 408th in the world rankings the 31-year-old played in the 2009 U.S. Open but hasn’t played a major since.
Given the tie breaker for a place in the Carnoustie field is world rankings had he not hit his 153-yard approach on the 72nd hole to three feet and converted, he would have missed out.
“It was one of the most enjoyable rounds I've ever played in my life,” Burgoon said.
“Tiger made it so low key, we talked the whole way around. He's a true gentleman. He's in my opinion the greatest golfer ever to play, so it was one of my best rounds I've ever played.”
RICKIE FOWLER – A final round 67 saw Fowler take 12th place.
KYLE STANLEY – The defending champion shot 73 on Sunday to finish up in a tie for 32nd.
MARC LEISHMAN – A late stumbling final round 70 sent the Australian back into a tie for 13th.
BEAU HOSSLER – The young guns made a charge through the middle of his round but a late double bogey dropped him into a tie for sixth. He projects to 26th in the FedExCup.
QUOTABLESEven my bad putts still had the "go in" look.
It was just joking and asking me what I had for dinner last night and I told him it was pasta, pasta is the secret.I've looked up to the guy since I've been 12 years old, so it was a dream come true. When that putt went in on Beau's 54th hole, I was jumping up and down, I was so happy.
He's such a good ball‑striker, and to get a W I think is a big monkey off his back.
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