PALM BEACH GARDENS — This time, the eagle putt Tiger Woods drained on the 18th hole to conclude the Honda Classic did little more than wipe away some of Sunday’s frustration.
It wasn’t like the fist-pumping one he made during last year’s round of 62 that put a scare into eventual champion Rory McIlroy.
“Lowers my score by two shots, that’s about it,” Woods said after his 74 left him tied for 37th place, 13 shots behind winner Michael Thompson. “I think I passed 62 somewhere around 12.”
Actually, Woods’ 62nd stroke Sunday came on his second of three putts on the 15th hole. Any chance he had of another final-day rally ended with, of all things, a lost ball when he hit his drive way right at the par-4 sixth hole.
It was the second lost ball he had during the tournament — he also couldn’t find a ball that plugged into the bank in front of the 17th green Saturday. Woods said this is the first time he has lost two balls in a tournament since he turned pro.
“I just made too many penalties this week,” Woods said. “Today is a perfect example. I didn’t play that poorly. I had two water balls and a lost ball. Take those away, and I missed two short birdie putts, and it was actually a decent score.”
Woods never broke par this week, shooting an even-par 70 the first three rounds. He hit 58.9 percent of his fairways, 65.3 percent of his greens and took 29.75 putts per round.
“I feel good with what I did,” he said. “It’s just penalty shots. Just got to clean up the rounds. Obviously, (I) make a couple more putts and next thing you know, I’m 3under par.”
Woods will be trying for his fourth PGA Tour victory at Doral this week in the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Guthrie not bummed: Luke Guthrie was hoping he would get his first PGA Tour win, but he tried to take the positives out of finishing a career-best third place. Tied for the lead entering the final round, he shot a 3-over 73.
“It was brutal out there,” he said. “I didn’t have my best stuff. Hung in there, fought hard. A good week.”
Guthrie won seven times in college at Illinois, where he was twice named Big Ten Player of the Year, and he also won twice last year on the Web.com Tour. He believes it’s just a matter of time before he wins on the PGA Tour.
“I know I can win out here,” he said. “I already knew that I could do that, but now this kind of validated and confirmed it. I think my game is in a good spot and I can’t wait for Puerto Rico.”
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