Tiger Woods was asked about his relationship with Donald Trump after the final round of The Northern Trust, on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018 in Paramus.
Andy Vasquez, Staff Writer, @andy_vasquez
PARAMUS — Tiger Woods’ ball curled around the lip of the cup on the 11th green at Ridgewood Country Club, but it didn’t drop into the hole. The crowd groaned. Woods quickly tapped the ball in and walked off the green, muttering to himself and glaring at nothing in particular.
It was that kind of a week for Woods on the greens at The Northern Trust.
Woods shot a 1-under 70 on Sunday to finish 4-under for the week at Ridgewood, in a tie for 40th place. On a week when Ridgewood was soft and scores were low, Woods managed only nine birdies.
And it was clear, that the putter was to blame.
“I played a lot better than my score indicates,” Woods said. “I didn’t make any birdies this week. I didn’t putt well and at the end of the day, I found a piece of my game that has been missing, which is driving it well, but you have to make putts. That’s the only way we’re going to shoot low rounds. I didn’t do it this week.”
The conventional wisdom heading into this week was that Woods would be just fine if he hit fairways at Ridgewood, where the rough was gnarly and players who didn’t find the fairway got in trouble quickly.
Two weeks ago at the PGA Championship, Woods was wild off the tee. That wasn’t a problem at The Northern Trust, where he hit 68 percent of his fairways, tied for 28th best in the field.
But his putting at Ridgewood was atrocious. He was ranked 79th in strokes gained putting. And on Sunday, he lipped out several times.
“You know, just the way it goes,” Woods said. “You have good weeks and you have bad weeks. The greens, sometimes they look good to you. Sometimes they don’t. All of my good putts, basically, went in [at the PGA Championship] at Bellerive, and the bad putts lipped-out. This week, the good putts lipped-out and the bad ones didn’t have a chance. That’s the way it goes.”
Woods headed home to Florida for a few days of rest and practice before he plays the Dell Technologies Championship near Boston starting on Friday. He said he plans to work on his putting.
But this whole season for Woods has been a bit like Whac-A-Mole. Early in the season he was driving the ball well and putting OK, but struggling with his irons. Then his putter went on the fritz midway through the season. And at the PGA, his driver ended up costing him a chance to win.
“Well, welcome to golf,” Woods said. “You guys are used to seeing me win five times a year or more [in the past]. It’s not that easy to win out here. … But it’s not that far.”