Woods showing positive signs with Top 20 finish

He’s been saying he’s been close for quite a while but at long last, Tiger Woods has a result to back up the rhetoric.

Woods completed his own event, the Quicken Loans National in Virginia, with a three-under 68 to finish in a tie for 18th place at eight-under 276.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

It’s not quite his best result of the year, he tied for 17th at The Masters in April, but the progress made since missing the cut at in his last start at The Open Championship at St Andrews last month was significant.

What’s more, Woods was able to rebound immediately from a momentum-killing 74 on Saturday which should allow him to take some good vibes into his preparation for his next event, the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in a fortnight.

“It was kind of a mixed bag as far as results, but the fact I had total control of the golf ball was nice,” he said after the final round, “Today I started off well and really hit the ball well and I looked at the whole week in general. Felt like I made some big strides.”

“I’m hitting the ball up there with some of the bigger guys again,” Woods said. “I was able to make some putts and the short game (is) becoming good again like it used to be.”

Saturday aside, gone were the wild misses that have become synonymous with the 14-time major champion of late. He’s encouraged that his ‘speed’ is returning and his scrambling stats during the week suggest he’s coming out of the doldrums with his chipping and pitching.

The outrageous flop shot over a bunker from a downhill lie in the rough by the 18th green on Saturday to salvage bogey was the Woods of old.

It’s an upward path that has Woods confident of another chapter of success over the longer term, as he approaches his 40th birthday on December 30.

“I’ve got years ahead of me, that’s how I look at it, not just this season,” he said. “I’ve got years and if you would have asked me that back when I had my back surgery I would have probably, I didn’t really know.”

“That was a rough period in my career and my life. But now I’m on the good side of it.”