CARNOUSTIE: Tiger Woods at one moment looked like completing an astonishing fairytale comeback when he led the British Open in the final round on Sunday but ultimately came up short, posting a level par 71 to finish five-under for the tournament.
However, the 42-year-old 14-time major winner had his rivals rattled when he grabbed the lead thanks to two birdies on the front nine while they were dropping shots.
The dream, though, ended for Woods on his return after a two-year hiatus to a major he has won three times when he double-bogeyed the 11th and then dropped another shot on the following hole.
Woods, who was watched by his children and got adoring hugs as he left the final green, admitted he was “a little ticked off with himself” but said his close friend and tennis superstar Serena Williams — who lost in the Wimbledon singles final last weekend — would set him right.
“Serena will probably call me and talk to me about it because you’ve got to put things in perspective,” said Woods who eventually finished tied for sixth, three shots behind playing partner and champion Francesco Molinari. “She just had a baby and lost the Wimbledon finals. Just keep it in perspective, and the same thing with me. I know that it’s going to sting for a little bit here, but given where I was to where I’m at now, blessed.”
Woods’ disappointment was quickly counter-balanced by the warmth of the reception from his children.
“I told them I tried, and I said, ‘Hopefully you’re proud of your pops for trying as hard as I did’,” said Woods. “They gave me some — it’s pretty emotional because they gave me some pretty significant hugs there and squeezed. I know that they know how much this championship means to me and how much it feels good to be back playing again.”
Woods said it was extra special for him as all his two children had witnessed before were his fall from grace both personally — divorcing their mother Elin Nordgren because of serial infidelities — and professionally.
“The only thing they’ve seen is my struggles and the pain I was going through,” said Woods. “Now they just want to go play soccer with me. So that’s just such a great feeling.”
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