Tiger Woods grabbed at his right wrist and grimaced in pain, bending over at the waist as his golf club went flying on the ninth hole Sunday afternoon in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
Five days earlier, Woods’ tournament began with discussion about his ailing back and refined short game, two issues that had kept him sidelined for close to two months before a return to golf at Augusta. On Sunday, his Masters ended with more talk about his health and future.
Woods shot a final-round 71 on Sunday, finishing at 5 under under par and tied for 17th for the tournament.
His return to golf highlighted the opening days at the Masters. A brief surge Saturday sent a charge throughout the grounds. But his presence ended up a mere footnote as 21-year-old Jordan Spieth became the youngest Masters winner since Woods claimed a landmark victory at the same age in 1997.
“It's just generations,” said Woods, who will turn 40 later this year. “When I first came out here it was Phil (Mickelson) and I trying to take over from (Greg Norman and (Nick Price) and those guys.”
After his round, Woods said he struck a root during his second shot on the ninth hole.
“A bone kind of popped out and the joint kind of went out of place,” Woods said. “But I put it back in.”
Playing alongside world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, Woods began the day at 6 under par, 10 strokes behind Spieth. He needed a slew of early birdies to become relevant on the leader board. Instead, he recorded bogeys at Nos. 4 and 7 and fell even further out of contention.
Still, Woods said he was pleased with his performance after coming back from a long break from the game.
“No one knows how hard we had to work to get to this point, but I'm very pleased,” Woods said. “This is my first tournament back, being a major championship, and to give myself a chance, it felt good.”
For now, though, Woods said he would take some more time off before deciding when to play again.
“(It’s) not going to be for a while,” Woods said. “I have a little time off, and go back to the drawing board, work on it again, and refine what I'm doing. I really like what I’m doing.”
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