Tiger Woods: I did everything the way I thought I needed to do to win


Tiger Woods briefly held the outright lead during the final round but ultimately came up three shots short of winning his 15th major title at Carnoustie on Sunday.

Less than a year ago it seemed completely unfathomable that Tiger Woods might play in The Open again, let alone hold the lead during the back-nine of a major and have a chance to claim his 15th major title - 10 years after he won his last. 

And while he didn't manage to get it done on Sunday at the 147th Open, it once again feels not a question of if, but rather when he might have his name engraved on one of the four major trophies once more. 

He moved his way in to contention with two birdies in his fist six holes as the three overnight leaders quickly dropped shots in the tougher conditions, tying the lead with Schauffele at the eighth before moving in to sole possesion on the ninth.

But a few loose shots over the 11th and 12th holes cost Tiger three shots and his lead, and he failed to recover as his playing partner Francesco Molinari pushed ahead over the final five holes to become the first Italian to win golf's oldest major. 

Afterward, Woods said he felt that he had done everything he needed to in order to win this week, but admitted to being a bit annoyed at himself for giving up his lead.

"A little ticked off at myself for sure," Tiger said. "I had a chance starting that back nine to do something, and I didn't do it.

"I thought 9 would be the number. There are three guys at 9. I thought one of those guys would shoot even par. I thought it was tough out there, but I figured I needed to go get that number so far.

"Next thing, lo and behold, I'm tied for the lead, and then I'm leading it. Unfortunately, I hit a bad 3 iron off the tee there at 10. Grass grabbed my shaft again and hit it left. I made a couple mistakes around the green. And same thing at 12. The grass grabbed the shaft this time and turned it open and made bogey there."

"I did everything the way I thought I needed to do it to win the championship. This entire week, I felt like I needed to keep building my way into this championship. It's one of those where, as I said earlier in the week, it's going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win it on Sunday because we're all driving the same areas. Kind of turned out that way. There are a bunch of guys packed, a bunch of guys with a chance to win, and I was one of them."

Tiger said being in the lead in a major felt like very familiar territory, but he was keen to keep everything in persepctive as he knows how lucky he is just to be here after four back surgeries. 

"It didn't feel any different to be next to the lead and knowing what I need to do. I've done it so many different ways. It didn't feel any different. It felt great to be a part of the mix and build my way into the championship. Today was a day that I had a great opportunity.

"it was a blast. I was saying earlier that I need to try and keep it in perspective because, the beginning of the year, if they'd have said you're playing The Open Championship, I would have said I'd be very lucky to do that.

An important thing for Tiger was to show his kids how he used to be earlier in his career, rather than the injured athlete he often describes as 'the youtube golfer'. For him to be in contention at a time they will now be able to remember, he said was special. 

"I told them I tried, and I said, "Hopefully you're proud of your pops for trying as hard as I did."

"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. To me, it's just so special to have them aware because I've won a lot of golf tournaments in my career, but they don't remember any of them.

"So for them to understand what I was doing early in my career. The only thing they've seen is my struggles and the pain I was going through. Now they just want to go play soccer with me. So that's -- man, it's just such a great feeling."

So what's next for Tiger Woods? Thanks to his T6 finish at The Open he will move to World No.50, which will guarantee his spot at the WGC Bridgestone - a big target of his this year. 

It's a tournament he's won eight times, and given his latest result, he'll no doubt be hoping he can win number nine.