Tiger Woods closes in 66 for top 5 at QL National, but win still eludes him

Jul 1, 2018; Potomac, MD, USA; Tiger Woods of the United States hits his approach shot on the seventh hole during the final round of The National golf tournament at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods closes in 66 for top 5 at QL National, but win still eludes him

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods closes in 66 for top 5 at QL National, but win still eludes him

Tiger Woods produced plenty of entertainment as host this week at the Quicken Loans National, but what he wants most in his comeback still eludes him.

The 42-year-old had another up-and-down round Sunday, closing in 4-under 66 at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm to get in for the week at 11 under. When he reached the clubhouse, that was good for solo fifth. He ended up finishing T-4.

Yet, he’s still looking for his first PGA Tour win in five years (and 80th overall), and that got by him this weekend.

Woods certainly produced enough spectacular moments to bring home his third victory at this event (2009, ’12), but a number of missteps left him to settle for a high finish.

The disturbing trend in recent months of Woods getting it going in a round and then falling off continued this weekend.

On Saturday, Woods made four consecutive birdies early in Round 3 only to stumble on the easier back nine to post a 2-under 68.

His final round saw him out in 3-under 32 and with a simple 6-footer for birdie at the par-5 10th. But that short effort went over the left lip, giving Woods a demoralizing par.

He would follow with a bogey-birdie-bogey stretch that took him out of any consideration for the win. It added to the frustration when Woods missed a 3-footer for birdie at the par-4 14th.

As Woods struggled, Francesco Molinari was in the midst of a scorching stretch that put his lead well out of reach. Once Woods was out of contention, he did rally.

Three back of second place at 9 under coming to the par-4 15th, Woods then knocked a pair of approaches to 8 and 15 feet and drained both birdie putts to move back into the top five.

It appeared he would falter at the par-4 18th, but he drained a 20-footer for par to end his round strong.

In official PGA Tour events, this will be Woods’ third top 10 in his comeback and fifth top-12 finish. Clearly, there’s plenty of good golf left in this 14-time major champion. And his putter did work pretty well this week, a nice development with a new flatstick after his trusty Scotty had let him down significantly in recent events.

But can he put everything together to post more wins? That continues to be a lingering question.

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