Ponte Vedra Beach: After finishing equal 11th at the Players Championship on Sunday, Tiger Woods declared himself ready to win another title.
For the second day running, Woods plundered the first 12 holes at TPC Sawgrass, this time picking up six birdies.
He was unable to finish quite so strongly, finding water at the island-green 17th for a double-bogey.
He blamed a gust of wind, rather than a bad shot for that stumble, however.
“I felt good on every facet of the game and it’s weird not to mis-hit a shot today and only shoot three-under,” the 14-time major champion said.
Generating as much club-head speed with his driver as almost anyone in the field, the 42-year-old showed he has lost little of his power after last year’s spinal fusion.
He also had good distance control with his irons and bounced back on the greens after putting woefully in Charlotte.
“I didn’t play particularly well the first couple of days but I turned it around this weekend. Unfortunately just didn’t cash in,” he said after finishing seven strokes behind winner Webb Simpson.
“If I would have had the game I had this weekend at the beginning of the week I would have given Webb a little bit of a run.”
Woods will have only one more start, at the Memorial tournament in two weeks, to hone his game before the US Open at Shinnecock Hills.
He has been in contention in the final round in four of his eight starts this year.
“I’m not that far off from winning,” he said. “There’s no way at the beginning of the year that I would have predicted I would have been at this point.”