Woods left to ponder lost chance

He finishes tied for 9th

last win in major was '02

British Open

July 19, 2004|By Thomas Bonk | Thomas Bonk,LOS ANGELES TIMES

TROON, Scotland - Tiger Woods left Royal Troon and the British Open without the title, as his streak of failing to win a major tournament reached nine.

Woods, who has insisted he isn't far off from changing that, missed what looked like a good chance yesterday, when his closing round of 72 left him tied for ninth with Mike Weir at 3-under 281.

"I feel like I played well, but I just made too many mistakes," he said. "I didn't make any high numbers, but I didn't make a lot of birdies, either."

He had 12 birdies for the week, all but one of them on the front nine. The only birdie Woods had on the back was the 16th hole on Thursday.

Woods played the front side in 8-under and the back in 5-over.

"I had a chance this week and felt like I really could have won this tournament," he said.

Starting the day four shots out of the lead, Woods made a move early. He had two birdies on the front and probably should have had four, which would have put him in the hunt instead of back in the pack.

Woods' first missed opportunity was when he failed to birdie the 590-yard fourth hole. A bad drive into the left rough cost him the chance there.

He holed a bunker shot to birdie the fifth and made a six-footer for a birdie at No. 6 to get to 6-under, two shots off the lead.

But that's as close as Woods could get. His luck, his tournament and his streak collided at No. 7, where Woods had a chance for birdie from five feet, but he pulled it left.

Bad drives cost him back-to-back bogeys at the 11th and 12th, and it was over for him. Meanwhile, his streak goes on. The previous major Woods won was the 2002 U.S. Open.

At least he's working his way in the right direction in the majors. He tied for 22nd at the Masters, tied for 17th at the U.S. Open and now he has a tie for ninth. And there's still one more major left - the PGA Championship is next month.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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