Woods well short of CordeValle goal despite progress

Updated: 2011-10-10 14:22


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Woods well short of CordeValle goal despite progress

Tiger Woods of the US lets go of his club at the fifth tee during the final round of a PGA Tour golf tournament in San Martin, California Oct 9, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

SAN MARTIN, California - By his own stated benchmark at the start of the week, Tiger Woods did not enjoy a successful Frys.com Open though he was happy with his day-by-day progress at CordeValle Golf Club.

Playing in his first PGA Tour event in almost two months after an injury-hit season of erratic form, the former world number one signed off with a three-under-par 68 in Sunday's final round, his third successive score in the 60s.

However, Woods had said on the eve of the tournament he would be satisfied with nothing less than victory in the second-tier PGA Tour event and he ended the week in a tie for 30th, a distant 10 strokes off the pace.

"I got better every day," the 14-times major champion told reporters after posting a seven-under total of 277 on another sun-splashed day at CordeValle where the average score was 69.21 in the final round.

"Unfortunately, there were a couple of times where I kind of didn't get the momentum going when I had a couple of chances to make putts or I hit a bad shot.

"I felt very comfortable, and I just need to keep staying the course. The game's coming."

These are trying times, though, for the greatest player of his generation and arguably the best ever.

Woods has been a shadow of his former dominant self since his private life unravelled at the end of 2009 and this week he was competing for the first time in a Fall Series event, at the urging of US Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples.

He was selected by Couples as one of two wildcard picks on the 12-man team to take on the Internationals in Melbourne from Nov. 17-20, despite having played only eight events this year.

No Cup Validation 

However, Woods never felt he had to validate his Cup selection in this week's event, saying he was simply focused on trying to win a golf tournament.

"I'm just playing to get competitive," said the 35-year-old American, who has not triumphed anywhere since the 2009 Australian Masters and has dropped to 51st in the rankings.

"It's about going out there and playing ... understanding the situations and feels, and game time's a little bit different. I really haven't played a whole lot since the Masters (in April)."

For the second day in a row at CordeValle, Woods made a strong start after teeing off at the 10th, four birdies in his first six holes putting him five shots off the lead at eight under par.

Though he bogeyed the par-three 16th after ending up in tangly rough to the right of the green off the tee, he birdied the drivable par-four 17th to reach the turn in four-under 32.

His momentum stalled as he bogeyed the second after failing to reach the green in two, and the fifth, where he missed the fairway badly to the left, to slide back to six under.

"I was rolling there," Woods said. "I could have just really got it rolling. I had a couple of opportunities like that, both yesterday and again today. But unfortunately it didn't happen that way."