Tiger Woods vows to improve after disastrous Memorial Tournament
Reuters in Dublin, Ohio
Tiger Woods ended a largely forgettable week at the Memorial Tournament languishing joint 65th in a field of 73, and conceding that he needs to clean up every aspect of his game before the upcoming US Open.
A five-times winner at Muirfield Village Golf Club where he was the defending champion, Woods struggled with his putting on lightning-fast greens for all four rounds as he finished up a distant 20 strokes behind winner Matt Kuchar.
Though his accuracy off the tee was surprisingly good throughout the tournament, Woods totalled 119 putts during the week and paid a hefty price after running up big numbers on certain holes at a venue he knows as well as anyone.
Woods closed with a level-par 72 at Muirfield Village to finish at eight-over 296, the second-highest score of his career.
His highest in a 72-hole event was 298 at the 2010 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
"It happens to us all," said world No1 Woods, who had triumphed three times in his previous four starts on the PGA Tour. "I will go home next week and practise.
"It's just one of those weeks. This week I obviously didn't putt well. I had bad speed all week.
"I thought the greens didn't look that fast, but they were putting fast. I could never get the speed of them." The second major of the year, the June 13-16 US Open at Merion in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, is fast approaching and Woods gave a succinct reply when asked which areas of his game needed improving.
"Everything," said the 37-year-old American, who won the most recent of his 14 major titles at the 2008 US Open.
"You want everything clicking on all cylinders, especially at the US Open, because everything is tested in the US Open."
Woods began the final round among the back-markers and ran into trouble when he triplebogeyed the par three 12th after taking two shots to escape from a bad lie in a greenside bunker, then three-putted.
"I was just trying to put the ball against the face on the upslope on the other side so I had a chance to spin the next one," he said of his first bunker shot.
"And it actually rolled back on the bottom where there's no sand. I hit a decent shot and it skipped by. And the first putt was awful. The second putt I pulled."
World No2 Rory McIlroy, also making his last scheduled start before the US Open, was in trouble from Thursday, when he opened with a 78.
He fought back to make the cut and also closed out his week with an even-par round that included two birdies and two bogeys for a six-over total of 294.
"I found a couple of little things this weekend," McIlroy said. "I hit the ball much better today. I putted a little better, too ... It's not that far away."