U.S. Open: Tiger: Seeing red
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. ó
He didn’t need to hear any more.
“Do you beat yourself up over this one,” the question began, “or …”
“Yes,” Tiger Woods said abruptly.
This once, at least, the best player in the world wasn’t interested in alibis, never mind that a very tidy one was available. Woods got stuck in the bad half of the draw, weather-wise, from the start of play Thursday and beat every other player in the super-soaked flight at this U.S. Open. That was only good enough to tie for sixth place.
The sun was trying to peek through the clouds on a breezy, overcast morning at Bethpage Black, but Woods wasn’t interested in that, either. For five days, he had seen little besides rain and gray skies. Now he was seeing nothing but red.
“I striped it this week,” he said after finishing at even-par 280.
That was two weeks ago in Ohio, where Woods found every fairway in the final round and came from four strokes back on the last day to win.
“Unfortunately,” he said, back in the moment, “I didn’t make anything.
“I hit so many putts that ó my good ones are not going in, and then my bad ones aren’t even close. It’s a little bit slow and bumpy, but you have to be committed to hitting it that hard, and I left a lot of putts short. And then, when I tried to hit it harder, I gunned it past the hole.”
He tugged the bill of his black cap lower.
“I didn’t make the adjustment the right way,” he said.
Nearly every time Woods loses, he pins the blame on the shortest club in his bag. This time, there was no second-guessing him. He made only 14 birdies all week.
Woods did become the first Open champion since Curtis Strange two decades ago to finish in the top 10 defending his title.
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