Tiger Woods made an impressive run up the leaderboard over the weekend before eventually finishing T11, and says he feels he is close to winning once more.
Woods needed the help of 72nd hole bogeys from both Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas to make the cut on Friday, but took advantage of fairly benign conditions over the weekend before fading over the finishing holes.
He began Saturday's round 14 shots back, but by the 12th hole on Sunday Woods was four shots adrift after topping up a third round 65 with a front nine 32 and two further birdies on 11 and 12.
It was a case of what could have been for Woods, who would have needed something particular special over the last four holes to catch Simpson, but instead his momentum stalled on the 14th.
The hole which had been somewhat of a nemesis for Woods loomed, and despite bombing a driver 354 yards off the tee, he spun his wedge shot back off the front of the green and filed to get up and down for par.
Still inside the top 10, Woods misinterpretted the wind on the 17th, finding the water and ending up with a double bogey to drop back to 11-under-par for the week with a final round 69 to end up T11.
"I hit it so good," Woods said. "It was nice. I had control of it from tee to green; I made some putts; I felt good on basically every facet of the game, and it's weird; not to really mishit a shot today and only shoot 3-under par is just weird, because I played much better than that."
"It was just a matter of time," Woods said about finding his game, "and this weekend was it."
For Woods, his T11 was a huge step in the right direction in his comeback, and his performance over the weekend gave him confidence he will be back in the winners circle soon.
"There's no way I would have predicted I would be at this point the beginning of the year," he said. "The way I was just coming back and just trying to get a feel for it and then hopefully have a schedule. Didn't know. But now I feel like I've got my playing feels and I'm playing tournament golf and I've got it -- I'm not that far off from winning golf tournaments."
While we don't know when he is going to tee up next, Woods said he’s aiming to try to qualify for the next World Golf Championships tournament, the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone South, Aug. 2-5.
“This summer is -- there are some big events to be played,” he said, “and one of my goals is to get into Akron, one last time, before we leave there. I've won there eight times and I would like to get there with one more chance. But I got to do some work between now and then, hopefully put together one good event.”