AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods played golf in red and black on Sunday afternoon at the 2018 Masters. That's the good news. The bad news is that he was finishing in the afternoon and not starting. The other bad news is that he ended the week outside the top 30 for the second time in his career as a pro at this tournament (he was T40 in 2012). Woods ended his 73-75-72 start with a 3-under 69 and a 1-over 289 total for the week.
It's just the sixth time in his career as a pro that he's finished over par through four rounds at Augusta National. It shouldn't be considered a failure given that we're at least seeing Woods play real, competitive golf at a major championship. But expectations were certainly higher for Tiger this week than what he lived up to.
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The problems were myriad and his iron play was poor throughout. Those didn't get a lot better on Sunday.
"No, I was not (having iron issues pre-tournament)," Woods said. "That's why it's disappointing and a little bit frustrating. I haven't been sharp with them. Given the fact that I was playing well coming in, my practice sessions have been good, and just have not executed the way that I have been. I know what the problem is, I'm struggling trying to fix it on the fly and trusting it."
Woods did play the par 5s better on Sunday than he has all week. He made birdies at Nos. 2, 8, 13, an eagle at 15 and another birdie at 17, and his best score of the week reflected that.
And it did seem as if Tiger got more and more comfortable with his swing and his play as the event wore on. That's something positive to take away, even if the overall result was not.
It will be interesting to watch what Woods does at the rest of the major championships this year. I think the Master was a reminder that the four big ones are on a different plane than the Valspar Championships of the world. I still think Tiger has a lot left in the tank, but the 2018 Masters showed us that Woods' success at Augusta should not be as automatic as we thought.