Woods falters, can point to putter for Open woes

Tiger Woods reacts after putting on the eighth green during the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

Tiger Woods reacts after putting on the eighth green during the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

ARDMORE, Pa. – Tiger Woods' winless streak in the majors has officially moved into its sixth calendar year, and this one got ugly during the weekend.

Over his final 36 holes, Woods carded 11 bogeys and a triple-bogey against only four birdies, spiraling out of contention on a layout that he thought he would fairway metal to death.

But it was his flatstick that truly let him down, racking up 128 putts on the week – an average of 32 per round. The putting woes were despite bettering the field in fairways hit at 70 percent (field was at 62.28 percent) and in greens in regulation at 65 percent (field was 58.56 percent).

"I struggled with the speed all week. These greens are grainy. It's one of the older bent grasses, creeping bent," said Woods. "So it's a little bit grainy. I struggled with the speed, especially right around the hole; putts were breaking a lot more, I gave it a little more break and then it would hang. That's kind of the way it was this week."

Woods started his third round with a birdie to move within three shots of the lead, but seven bogeys to finish out his round left him with a 12:02 p.m. date with Matt Bettencourt – not what you'd expect from the World No. 1.

He started Sunday with a birdie, but followed with a drive out-of-bounds at No. 2 that led to a triple-bogey 8. He'd mix in four bogeys and two birdies the rest of the way en route to a 4-over 74.

He failed to break par in all four rounds, posting 73-70-76-74 to finish at 13 over. But Woods says he refuses to simply forget the week.

"There's always a lesson to be learned in every tournament whether you win or lose. I'll look back at the things I did right and the things I did wrong."

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