Saturday, February 24, 2018
Golf

Woods has worst U.S. Open 72-hole score as pro

ARDMORE, Pa. — This isn't the kind of record Tiger Woods had in mind at the U.S. Open.

Woods closed with 4-over 74 Sunday for 13-over 293, his worst 72-hole score as a pro in the U.S. Open and tying for his high score in any major.

"I did a lot of things right," he said. "Unfortunately, I did a few things wrong as well."

Woods' previous high score in an Open was 290 at the Olympic Club in 1998 and Shinnecock Hills in 2004. Woods shot 294 at Oakland Hills in 1996 as an amateur.

After the second round, Woods was four shots out of the lead and in the hunt to end his five-year drought in the majors. Then he went 76-74 for his worst weekend in a major.

Woods also had 21 holes in which he shot bogey or worse, his most at a major as a pro and second most in any PGA Tour event.

"I struggled with the speed all week," Woods said. "These greens are grainy. It's one of the older bent grasses — creeping bent. … Putts were breaking a lot more. I gave it a little more break, and then it would hang. That's kind of the way it was this week."

McILROY attacks: Rory McIlroy was miserable at Merion, and he took out his frustrations on his 9 iron on No. 11. His first tee shot plopped in the water. He took a drop, then sent another ball into the creek.

McIlroy then jammed the Nike club into the ground and twisted the head.

"I think that's what this tournament does to you," said McIlroy, who shot 6-over 76. "At one point or another, it's got the better of you, and it definitely did this weekend."

He didn't lose his sense of humor. When he was introduced at his news conference as shooting 14-over 294 for the tournament, he joked, "You didn't have to tell them that part."

No doubt: Shawn Stefani knocked in the only hole-in-one of the tournament in the last round. His 4-iron on the 229-yard par-3 17th hit off a bank to the left of the green, shot to the right and then rolled for what seemed like an eternity before settling into the cup and whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

After pulling the ball from the hole, Stefani went to the area where the ball hit, got on his knees and kissed the ground, prompting another ovation.

"We're in Philly," said Stefani, from Baytown, Texas. "There's some great fans here. … So I'm sure they appreciated me going to the ground and kissing it."

Day time: Jason Day has three runnerup finishes and a third in the past 10 majors. He is the only player with top-10s in the first two majors of the season. He was third at the Masters.

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