Smiling Woods ties for ninth as Fowler wins with 61

Posted December 04, 2017

Woods, in his first tournament in almost 10 months following spinal fusion surgery, said he had some bad breaks on Saturday and that his game was better than his scorecard suggested.

"I showed some good signs", Woods told NBC Sports after finishing the four days at eight-under 280. That's keep fighting and try and post the best number I possibly could.

"I really didn't feel like I was that far off, that's the insane part", he said. That's the insane part. I hit some really good shots out there.

The 41-year-old, who last played at the Dubai Desert Classic in February, carded a four-under final round of 68 but was powerless to prevent fellow countryman Rickie Fowler from claiming a four-shot win after a stunning 61. "I don't know what my schedule's going to be, but my expectations are we'll be playing next year. It's so much fun".

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Woods was 10 strokes back but he had plenty of smiles as he answered the question of how he would do in his first tournament in almost 10 months following spinal fusion surgery.

Jordan Spieth (72) and England's Justin Rose (71) were tied for second at nine-under 207, one stroke ahead of Italy's Francesco Molinari (71).

That contrasted sharply with Friday when he took nine shots less to finish the front nine. "Day to day stuff was very hard for me to do", Woods said.

Woods, who had his back fused just seven months ago, bounced back from an average third round with his lowest round of the tournament on Sunday.

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But he wound up with a bogey.

By the time he had finished the first 10 holes, he was already five-over for his round till he made a late recovery with a pair of birdies on the back nine.

"It's ridiculous", he said.

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