Sports

Rickie Fowler finishes in style but Tiger Woods' challenge fades

Rickie Fowler finishes in style but Tiger Woods' challenge fades

Woods finally picked up a shot at the 14th, doffing his hat to the crowd in relief, before carding another birdie at the par-three 17th.

Many wondered how Woods would do in his first tournament in almost 10 months following spinal fusion surgery and the answer was a positive one, especially on the final day.

"You've got to keep fighting, and that's one of things I've always done in my entire career is just keep fighting and try to post the best number I possibly could", Woods added.

"I really didn't feel like I was that far off, that's the insane part", he said.

Only in the closing five holes, where Woods twice had birdies and narrowly missed a third at the last, did the 41-year-old show he could again be a factor at the elite 18-man event that features eight of the world's top 10. "I hit some really good shots out there (and am ready for) a bright future. and no pain".

Woods is at four under, his back has held up well and he feels he can "fight his way back" from here.




But it was overnight leader Charley Hoffman who suffered the most as his five-shot advantage and his hopes of victory disappeared with a round of 72.

"I haven't had a chance yet to see Tiger play and can only go by the results".

Hoffman finished with nine successive pars to claim second place four shots behind Fowler and two ahead of England's Tommy Fleetwood and Jordan Spieth, who shot 67 and 69 respectively. And as recently as June, Nicklaus said that if Woods should resume playing golf he still firmly believed that Woods, who turns 42 later this month, could challenge his record of 18 major championships.

"I'm excited", Woods said afterward.

Said Tiger after his round, "It's ridiculous it took me 14 holes to make a birdie".


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