Masters: Tiger Woods posts highest 72-hole score in his professional career

Tiger Woods waves after his final round at the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club Sunday, April 14, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Tiger Woods waves after his final round at the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club Sunday, April 14, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — A standing ovation greeted Tiger Woods as he walked up to the 18th hole of Augusta National, and the 72nd of these Masters, on Sunday.

The five-time champion tipped his cap in acknowledgement of the gallery, but he knew these were cheers from the past more than anything he’d accomplished this day.

Tiger shot a 77 on Sunday, finishing 16-over par for the tournament. His cumulative 304 was the highest 72-hole score in his professional career and left him in last place among those who made the weekend cut here.

“It doesn't take much to get out of position here,” Woods said. “Unfortunately, I got out of position a lot yesterday and a couple times today.”

The tournament was still a success in a couple of regards. First off, at 48 and three years removed from a vicious car accident that left many wondering if it would end his career, he managed to get up, down and around four rounds at this hilly course.

He was seen with heat packs on his back, muscle oils all over and spoke of getting up every morning before 4 a.m. to begin a stretching routine just to be able to go.

Second, he set the Masters record for making his 24th consecutive cut.

He may have fallen apart on the weekend with an 82 Saturday to match Sunday’s disappointment, but Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson as well as other in-their-prime stars, didn’t even make it past the second round.

That includes the reigning U.S. Open (Wyndham Clark) and British Open (Brian Harman) champs.

“It was a good week all around,” Tiger said. “I think that coming in here, not having played a full tournament in a very long time, it was a good fight on Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, yesterday it didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to … [and today], unfortunately, I didn’t produce.”

For the galleries here, it hardly mattered. The chance to see Woods at Augusta is enough for throngs of fans to follow him hole to hole.

There were standing ovations at nearly every green. Others delighted in seeing Woods’ son, Charlie, serve as his coach on the pre-round practice range.

And at the 16th hole, Woods took time to shake hands with legendary CBS broadcaster Verne Lundquist, who is retiring after calling his 40th Masters, a run that included Tiger’s dramatic chip-in from the 16th rough in 2005 — “In your life,” Lundquist shouted that day, “have you seen anything like that?”

Post-round Tiger was already focused on being healthy enough to compete in the other three majors of the year, starting with the PGA Championship next month at Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Just keep lifting, keep the motor going, keep the body moving, keep getting stronger, keep progressing,” Tiger said. “Hopefully the practice sessions will keep getting longer.”

The man finished first here five times. Sunday he was last, at least among those still playing. The fans didn’t seem to care. Tiger the competitor always will, but deep down even he knows, this was still a measure of success, all things considered.