Tiger Woods caps 72-hole week at Genesis with closing 73
Well, he did it.
No, Tiger Woods didn’t win the Genesis Invitational on Sunday at Riviera Country Club. He didn’t even crack the top 40, closing in 2-over 73 to finish at 1 under, double digits behind what will end up the winning score.
“My streak continues here at Riv,” said Woods, who’s still winless at the place where he made his PGA Tour debut as a 16-year-old.
But what Woods did do? He got walked four rounds of golf in as many days.
That was the big question at the start of the week as Woods admitted to having not challenged his surgically repaired right leg in such a way this year. Prior to this week, Woods hadn’t completed a 72-hole event since last year’s Masters. He made the cut at the PGA Championship last May before having to withdraw after three rounds, and he missed the cut at The Open. Then plantar fasciitis in his right foot knocked him out of the Hero World Challenge.
Chamblee gives Tiger's Genesis performance an A
Woods showed up at Riv with his right ankle the main concern.
So, how did he feel physically as he fielded questions Sunday afternoon?
“It certainly was a little bit more difficult than I probably let on,” Woods said.
Game-wise, Woods was unsurprisingly rusty, especially on the greens. He struggled with his speed all week, and he lamented a bunch of "silly mistakes." On Sunday, Woods carded five bogeys; he did the same in Friday's second round before making the cut on the number.
Yet, there were still moments, highlighted by Woods' eagle on the par-5 first hole on Saturday in which Woods nearly holed his second shot for albatross. At one point in that third round, Woods was inside the top 20; he'd make a late bogey but still carded a 4-under 67, the second-best round of the day.
He provided one last highlight Sunday at the par-3 16th hole, hitting his tee ball to 5 feet and rolling in the birdie putt.
Right at the flagstick @TigerWoods ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/0TpultQ1Gf
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 19, 2023
"Overall, I felt like I hit the ball like I have been hitting it at home," Woods said.
Later in his post-round interview session, Woods described some of his recovery process between rounds.
"I pretty much lay in ice pretty much all night," Woods explained. "It's not fun, very cold all the time. And then treatment, then getting muscles activated and go back and hop in the cold again. The ebb and flow of that, it's hard. It's hard mentally, it's hard physically. It's just one of those things, part of being an athlete – yes, we train; yes, we push our bodies, but it's also what's probably even more important is the recovery process.
"If you're able to recover, you're able to push it harder the next day."
Full-field scores from The Genesis Invitational
Woods will now get a much deserved break. How long, though, remains to be seen.
Woods reiterated several times this week that he's only going to play the four majors – and maybe a couple more – each year moving forward. Taking that into consideration, it's likely Woods doesn't play again until the Masters.
Not that Woods would confirm his plans.
"I’m sure you’ll see me at some place," Woods said with a smile. "I’m sure people will film me hitting balls at medalist.
"Competitively? I don’t know."