(Reuters) – Tiger Woods’ first PGA Tour event in five months ended with a grinding final round four-over 76 at the Memorial Tournament on Sunday, but the 15-times major winner said he was leaving Muirfield Village Golf Club focused on the positives.
Woods, who last competed on the PGA Tour in mid-February at the Genesis Invitational where he finished last among players who made the cut, showed a bit of promise but plenty of rust on a layout where he had won five times.
The Memorial offered up a mixed bag for Woods as he returned two promising rounds of one-under 71 but then offset those with two far less impressive 76s.
Woods finished well down the leaderboard on six-over 294 but shrugged off the score as a result of diabolical conditions in Dublin, Ohio combining with some shabby putting and a lack of competitive rounds.
“As far as my swing, it felt good,” said Woods, summing up his performance. “I was able to hit good shots.
“Friday was a bit off physically, but overall for my first week back it was a lot… of positives.”
Woods got his round off to a bright start with a birdie at the first but there was little to smile about the rest of day.
The 44-year-old reigning Masters champion carded his first bogey at the fourth then stumbled into the turn with a double-bogey at the par five seventh followed by two more bogeys at eight and nine.
After yet another bogey at 11, Woods had looked poised to at least head off on a high note after picking up back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17 only to collect his fifth bogey of the day at the last.
Despite Woods’ complaints about his putting, he showed some masterly touches on the greens with his three birdies all coming courtesy of monster putts of 35, 22 and 18 feet.
“I think I need to work on my putting a bit and clean that up,” he said. “Tough, tough conditions to start out my first week back but it was good to get the feel and the flow of competing again.”
Asked what his tournament schedule is going to be and when he will be back out on the course Woods had a one word answer.
“Soon,” he said.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)