Tiger Woods finishes Masters with his highest score as a pro, sets sights on upcoming majors

June 2, 2024

Tiger Woods walks to the tee on the fourth hole during final round at the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club Sunday, April 14, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods finished the Masters on Sunday with a record he could do without, walking off the course with a 16-over 304, his highest 72-hole score in a career that spans three decades.

Woods’ previous high was 302 at the Memorial in 2015. He has only failed to break 300 one other time at the Masters two years ago when he shot 78-78 on the weekend and finished at 301.

Despite the score, Woods called it a “good week” and said he’s going to begin preparing for the other three majors including the PGA Championship in May, the U.S. Open in June and the British Open in July.

“This is a golf course I knew going into it, so I’m going to do my homework going forward at Pinehurst, Valhalla and Troon,” Woods said. “But that’s kind of the game plan.”

Overall, he wasn’t unhappy with how he played.

“Coming in here, not having played a full tournament in a very long time, it was a good fight on Thursday and Friday,” Woods said. “Unfortunately (Saturday) didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to.”

It hardly mattered to the crowd.

The 48-year-old Woods, who is still dealing with the effects of numerous surgeries that have impacted his body and limited his playing time on the PGA Tour, received a huge roar from the crowd as he pitched close to the hole on No. 18 and made par.

Wearing his traditional Sunday red, Woods tipped his hat the crowd.

Woods has played only 24 holes in one tournament going into the Masters

“I’m just going to keep lifting, keep the motor going, keep the body moving, keep getting stronger, keep progressing,” Woods said. “Hopefully the practice sessions will keep getting longer.”

Woods was in last place among the 60 players who made the cut when he finished. The previous time he finished in last place was in the 2020 Genesis Invitational at Riviera.

Still, the patrons flocked to see the man who took golf’s popularity to new heights, even if he isn’t been the dominant player he once was at Augusta National.

Woods hasn’t really been competitive here since 2020 when he finished tied for 38th one year after his stunning fifth victory at age 43.

He finished 13 over two years ago, then was forced to withdraw in 2023 in the third round due to injuries that weren’t helped by the cold, rainy weather that had taken an obvious physical toll on his body.

For a short time this week Woods showed glimpses of past greatness, relying mostly on his knowledge of the course.

He played the first two rounds in 1 over to make the cut for a record 24th time. But the final two rounds were a struggle for Woods, who posted his worst round of his career at a major with an 82 on Saturday.

“It’s always nice coming back here because I know the golf course, I know how to play it,” Woods said. “I can kind of simulate shots. Granted, it’s never quite the same as getting out here and doing it.”

He played the final 36 holes in 15 over, shooting 77 on Sunday in his 100th career round at the Masters.

Before the round Woods appeared to receive some swing tips from his 15-year-old son Charlie on the practice range.

Things started off well enough, but that didn’t last long.

After playing the first two holes in 1 under, Woods made a bogey on No. 3 before things started to unravel on the par-4 fifth hole when he took an unplayable lie and had to be driven back to the tee box in a golf cart to hit again. He wound up with a triple-bogey 7.

He added another bogey on the 6th.

He nearly chipped in from the sand on No. 16, giving fans a thrill and bringing back fond memories of his iconic chip in in 2005 en route to the fourth of his five championships at Augusta.

Woods said the toughest part of the week for him was battling the wind, which reached 45 mph at times with gusts.

“What it was doing out here to the golf shots and the balls and putting, how difficult the course was playing,” Woods said. “It doesn’t take much to get out of position here. Unfortunately, I got out of position a lot (Saturday) and a couple times today.”

The once-dominant Woods played with Neal Shipley, the only amateur to make the cut at the Masters.

It was a stark reminder of just how long Woods has been around.

Woods’ streak of cuts made at the Masters began in 1997, before the 23-year-old Shipley was born.

Even with Woods being out of contention he still attracting the usual huge throng of fans eager just to get a glimpse of the player that became the face of the sport. Fans applaud after every Woods’ shot — good or bad — and continue to shout encouragement his way.