Casey comes out of the pack to spoil Woods hopes of glory
12 March, 2018, 09:27 | Author: Hannah Francis
Woods didn't find another birdie until the 17th, where he drained a putt of nearly 45 feet to close within one stroke of Casey's clubhouse lead and send his massive gallery into a frenzy.
Woods finished the day tied for second with fellow American Patrick Reed.
The old Tiger magic was mostly missing on Sunday as the 14-times major champion tried to record his 80th PGA Tour victory, and his first since 2013.
But the 14-time major victor, playing just his fourth PGA Tour event since undergoing spinal fusion surgery last April, was unable to repeat the feat and had to settle for a share of second place.
"It was one of those days where I just kept getting the half-club, just one of those days where I couldn't quite get the full-club", Tiger said after the 18th.
Reed bogeyed the 18th after making an unwise play on the finishing green, opting to use a putter rather than a wedge and then seeing his initial putt fail to reach the cup and roll back to his feet.
"I felt very comfortable, actually".
"I loved his putt on 17", Casey said. Casey knows that the next generation of tour stars has already arrived, which makes his accomplishment all the more meaningful. This is the 70th time Woods is at or within one stroke of the lead after 54 holes on PGA Tour, according to the Golf Channel.
Casey's other PGA victory came in the 2009 Shell Houston Open.
Reed chose to chip the next shot, and he putted in for bogey. Mullinax's previous best showing in a PGA Tour tournament came at last year's U.S. Open, where he finished tied for ninth.
Television ratings figures from the tournament reflected Woods's astonishing pulling power, perhaps even greater than in his pomp, as a more vulnerable 42-year-old continue his comeback from his fourth back surgery. "A couple putts here and there would have been a different story".
Woods now heads to Thursday's starting Arnold Palmer Invitational as favourite and in an event he's won on eight occasions including back-to-back success in 2012 and 2013. I hadn't played there in a couple years because of my back and I wanted to play there a couple years ago.
"I was just grinding and try to put myself in there", he said.
Tiger is back with a bang.
Johnston laid up and had a longer putt for birdie, which he missed, and Wallace won when he tapped in from a foot. "That was wonderful. I'm sure he was disappointed he didn't get the victory". Sun-ju Ahn shot 4-under 68 and won on the first playoff hole against Ai Suzuki (65) in the Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies Cup on the Japan LPGA. And so it was left to Woods. You don't want to get carried away with one good tournament, but you can see signs of him playing well and hitting it better.
But the long game, the long view, that was so heartening as Woods builds on the performance gains he's made in recent weeks. With just a wedge in his hand, he twirled the club after playing his second shot, thinking he had fired his approach in close.
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