Despite two late bogeys, Tiger Woods fired a five-under 67 to close out the Memorial Tournament.
Tiger Woods wasn't concerned after missing the cut at the PGA Championship two weeks ago. He all but admitted that he wasn't fully prepared—mentally or physically—for the beast that was Bethpage Black, and he seemed confident that he would soon be able to recapture the form that saw him win the Masters.
He was correct.
Woods finished off the Memorial Tournament, his final start before the U.S. Open begins in two weeks, with a five-under 67 that could have been better had he not made two late bogeys. He finished Jack Nicklaus's event, which he has won five times, at 9 under after starting with 70-72-70.
"I played really well today," Woods told CBS after the round. "It was fun. I hit the ball so crisp and so solid and I made some nice putts on the front nine, and I had things rolling a bit."
Woods started Sunday well out of contention, but he played his way into the top five by playing his first 12 holes in seven under par.
He got the party started by walking in a 23-foot birdie putt on the second hole.
Woods made it back-to-back birdie after flagging his approach to eight feet on the par-4 3rd.
You got the sense something special could be brewing when he hit a laser 5-wood right over the flag on the par-5 5th to set up a two-putt birdie.
After another two-putt birdie on 7, Woods stuck a short iron to inside six feet on the par-3 8th and converted the subsequent putt. A par at 9 saw him make the turn in five-under 31.
Woods kept the momentum going by holing a 21-foot birdie effort on 11, then an 11-footer for birdie on the par-3 12th.
That was the last highlight, as Woods's ball striking went a bit haywire after an ideal start. He hit the first 12 greens on the round but just two of his final six, and his two bogeys came after pulling iron shots from the fairway.
Still, he shot three rounds under par at a major-type golf course and had the ball on a string for most of the day on Sunday. That should give him significant confidence as he turns his attention to the U.S. Open, which begins at Pebble Beach in 11 days. Woods, of course, won the U.S. Open by 15 shots at Pebble in 2000 and finished T4 when the Open returned in 2010.
"I wanted to have something positive coming into the Open ... Yeah, it was good," he said. "I was never going to win the tournament from where I was at. Texted my buddies that I wanted to get to double digits [under par] today. I did; I just didn't stay there."