GAINESVILLE, Va. -- Tiger Woods bounced back nicely Sunday from a poor third round at the Quicken Loans National, although his performance won't get him enough FedEx Cup points to be within striking distance of qualifying for the playoffs with his next start coming at the PGA Championship.
With three rounds in the 60s at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club and more positive signs than negative as he attempts to regain his form, Woods was asked if he's at all disappointed that he is apparently running out of tournaments in this PGA Tour season.
"I've got years ahead of me, that's how I look at it,'' Woods said after a 3-under-par 68 that included a front-nine 32. "It's not just this season. I've got years, and if you would have asked me that back when I had my back surgery [on March 31, 2014], I didn't really know.
"That was a rough period in my career and my life. But now I'm on the good side of it.''
Woods takes plenty of positives from a week that saw him shoot 68-66-74-68 to finish at 8 under par and tie for 18th. He was tied for 22nd when his round was complete, and can build on a final round that saw him hit 11 fairways and 15 greens and take just 29 putts.
It could have been better, of course, as Woods was 5 under par through 10 holes before a 3-putt bogey at the 11th where he missed a 3-footer for par. That seemed to take the edge off, as Woods missed his tee shot into a hazard at the 12th for another bogey, then bogeyed the par-5 14th when he spun his approach back into the water.
But he birdied the 17th hole and striped a drive at the 18th, hitting his approach pin high to end with an easy 2-putt par.
"It was kind of a mixed bag as far as results, but the fact I had total control of the golf ball was nice,'' he said.
That was not the case Saturday, when Woods began the day tied for fifth but managed just two birdies and scrambled for most of the round. His 74 beat just five players in the field and he dropped to a tie for 42nd.
Woods said he made a change in his setup at address, and it led to better results.
"I'm starting to pump the ball out there again and I know my loft of my irons are very weak compared to today's standards,'' he said. "I'm hitting the ball up there with some of the bigger guys again. The fact I was able to make some putts and then the short game becoming good again like it used to be.''
Even with his second-best finish of the year, Woods was still well outside the top 125 in FedEx points. He moved up from 197th to 185th and would likely need to finish in the top 3 at the PGA Championship in two weeks to earn enough to qualify for the first FedEx Cup playoff event at the Barclays.
On Friday, Woods kept the door open to playing in three weeks at the Wyndham Championship, the final regular-season tournament, provided that he enjoyed a good showing on the weekend here.
For now, Woods will settle for the improvement he saw this week.
"This is much better ... much, much better to have a round like today and basically yesterday,'' he said. "Even though I struggled as bad as I did, one thing has been missing as I've tried to explain to everyone ... trying to make an up and down here and there, scramble and turn a round to be awful into a scoring round.
"The first seven holes yesterday I was slapping it all over the place and struggling for par. I had that shot at [the par-5] 8 to turn my whole round around and get it in the right direction. I didn't do it. Today I did, which was nice. I started off well and really hit the ball well and I look at the whole week in general and felt like I made some big strides.''