Tiger Woods completes 'mixed bag' final round at Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- For the first time in 18 months, Tiger Woods has completed four rounds in consecutive tournaments.

Finding consistency in those rounds remains elusive, as Sunday's final round of five birdies, two bogeys and a triple bogey so pointedly showed.

Woods showed flashes of excellent play and not-so-good play during the course of an even-par 72 at TPC Sawgrass, completing the Players Championship with an overall score of 3-over-par 291.

A tie for 70th would be his worst finish in the PGA Tour's flagship tournament.

"It was a mixed bag, pretty much all week," said Woods, who will drop from his world ranking of 125th. "A lot of really, really good stuff out there, some mediocre and some bad. What did I have? Three 7s on the week. That's not very good."

One day after a career first multiple double-bogeys on par 5s in the same round, Woods had his first triple-bogey ever in 16 appearances at the Players Championship. The five doubles or worse (four double bogeys, one triple bogey) matches his worst in any tournament, which he has now done four times, all since 2011. He also did it last summer at the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

"That will get cleaned up over time," he said. "But this golf course definitely exposes that. Ernie [Els] and I were talking about it the other day, it can turn quick here. You can be going along, playing fine, all of a sudden make a double here and it's like, 'What just happened.' "

That is exactly what occurred Sunday. Woods had made three consecutive birdies to start the back nine and get to 3-under on his round. He parred the par-3 13th, then hooked his tee shot into the water at the 14th, leading to a triple-bogey 7.

Woods had driven it into the fairway with a driver in the three previous rounds, the one club where he had shown great progress. But that eluded him Sunday.

For the day, Woods hit just four fairways, showing again difficulty in closing out a round. He hit only two in the final round last month at Augusta National. The last time he broke par in the final round of any tournament was February 2014 at the Dubai Desert Classic, where he shot a 71.

Woods also hit just 11 greens in regulation on Sunday, due in part to what he said has been an ongoing issue with his irons.

"I wasn't as sharp with my irons," he said. "Normally I'm a pretty good iron player and I can get the ball in there tight. And I had a lot of clubs where I was 8-iron on down and I didn't stiff them. That's something I have to do better on."

Woods has played just eight tournament rounds since February and appeared to be walking a bit gingerly for a good part of Sunday. He said afterward that he felt fine, but he didn't practice after his round Saturday -- perhaps out of disgust over his 75 -- and that may have played a part in being a bit stiff on the last day.

He had not played four rounds in consecutive tournaments since he finished tied for third at the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour in November of 2013 followed by a playoff loss at the World Challenge a few weeks later.

Since then, Woods had three withdrawals, three missed cuts and he also missed the secondary cut in 2014 at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Regardless, Woods said he would get back to work immediately this week. He has a big fundraiser for his foundation next weekend, which is why he is skipping the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. He had previously said his next event would be the Memorial Tournament, which begins June 7.

From that point, he is scheduled to play every other week -- Memorial, U.S. Open, Greenbrier, Open Championship, Quicken Loans, PGA Championship -- through the beginning of August. He would need to get into the top 50 in the world in order to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods also said he would visit Chambers Bay, site of the U.S. Open near Seattle, sometime in the next month prior to the tournament.

"From what I hear, it's a golf course we need to take a look at a few times before the week," he said.