Competing in just his second tournament since his horrific car crash last year, Woods endured a nightmare start to the tournament. He began brightly, hitting birdies on his first and fifth holes. But as he progressed deeper into the round, he appeared to be in discomfort, wincing after tee shots, and closed with successive bogeys to finish four over.
On day two he produced a monumental effort to shoot a 1-under-par 69 to make the cut. But after a poor third round, shooting nine-over par at 79, which placed him joint last at 12 over, Woods decided to call it a day.
He also made five consecutive bogeys for the first time in a major since turning professional in 1996. “I just didn’t play well. I didn’t hit the ball very well,” said the 46-year-old. “I’m sore.” He added of round three: “I just didn’t play well. I didn’t hit the ball very well and got off to not the start I needed to get off to.
“I thought I hit a good tee shot down the 2nd and ended up in the water. I just never really got any kind of momentum on my side. I couldn’t get off the bogey train. I didn’t do anything right. I didn’t hit many good shots. Consequently I ended up with a pretty high score.”
It is a remarkable achievement that Woods is able to compete in two of the sport’s most prestigious events just a year after the injuries he sustained in a horrific car crash last year. Shaun Norris, who played in Woods’s company on Saturday, offered both sympathy and strands of hope for the future.
“He’s such a phenomenal player,” he said. “You feel so sorry for him having to go through this. But then again, you also see the type of person that he is; that he grinds through everything and pushes himself, even all the pain and that. It’s not easy to see a guy like him have to go through that and struggle like that.
“He’s swinging it nicely, and I think he’ll be back once he gets back to normal health and sorts out all the problems. The determination that the guy has, I mean, it’s phenomenal.”
While this marks a disappointing end to his campaign at Southern Hills, Woods will continue to push on and he intends to play The Open in July, while an appearance at next month’s US Open is currently up in the air.