Tiger Woods falls just short as Casey triumphs in Florida

Sheri Evans
March 12, 2018

All focus then turned to Woods who, after a birdie at the first, then parred 12 holes in succession ahead of having the crowd roar their approval in holing a snaking 43-foot birdie putt at the uphill par-3 17th to be now tied with Reed and one behind Casey. From there he elected to putt through the edge of the fringe and his birdie effort came up woefully short and ended up tumbling back down the slope to his feet.

With Woods two shots behind Paul Casey with two holes to go, he needed to finish birdie-birdie to force a playoff.

"It feels good to be up here", Woods said.

'I'm looking forward to it [the Masters] and I haven't played Bay Hill in a few years. "It was just one of those days where it was a half-club this way or that way".

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.

And even though Woods hasn't won himself since 2013, Casey acknowledged that Sunday's one-stroke win is indeed still a big deal.

The old-time roar faded, though, and his bid to force eventual victor Paul Casey to extra holes also petered out when his long birdie putt stopped a couple of feet short at the par-four 18th.

Masters 2018 Tiger Woods
GETTYTiger Woods finished runner-up at the Valspar Championship

Woods said on Saturday, however, that he had not been prepared to risk it until he basically had no other choice if he wanted to have a chance of living pain-free and playing competitive golf again. He won three times during the fall, and took some time off early this year to relax.

"I had a good shot at winning this golf tournament", Woods said. "A couple putts here and there, it could have been a different story".

Snedeker, left, was paired with Woods Sunday. Just when it looked like the baton had been passed-a new generation of young studs ready to shove the old guys aside and carry the sport for years to come-the idols they grew up watching are puffing out their chests and pushing back.

Casey said Woods' birdie putt was about a 1 in 20 shot, but he gave Woods 50-50 odds. But he got up and down for par from a bunker at 17, and when his ball moved slightly on the 18th green he stayed calm, consulted a rules official and finished out with a par.

Justin Rose, among six players who had a share of the lead at some point in the final round, had back-to-back bogeys on the back nine and never atoned for his mistakes. He hit a tree with his second shot on the first hole and bogeyed it, bogeyed No. 3 as well and ultimately finished with a 77, a tough but valuable learning experience. "I think two or three times on the golf course our paths crossed, there's a lot more fuss going on the periphery".

He was ranked No. 462 in the world three months ago when he shot 61 in the second round and won the Joburg Open.

More news: Hart to return to West Ham starting XI

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

Discuss This Article