Tiger Woods is playing his final round at this Masters — and it may have included his best iron shot of the week.
Woods nearly aced the 240-yard, par-3 fourth Sunday. His tee shot landed a few feet short of the flag, bounced a few times and then
skirted by the left edge of the hole. He was left with a left-to-right-breaking 10-footer that he dropped in the left side of the cup.
It provided a brief glimpse of what might have been at Augusta National had Woods had better distance control with his irons.
Woods missed greens right and left, never really getting approach shots in the perfect spots on treacherous greens.
His errant ways left him starting a lot sooner than expected and will have him finishing shortly after the leaders tee off Sunday afternoon.
Woods also made a birdie on par-5 second, but followed that with bogey on the par-4 third. He is 3-over for the tournament.
It’s essentially a Ryder Cup rematch at Augusta National.
Patrick Reed and his par-5 prowess versus Rory McIlroy and his penchant for clutch shots.
A 27-year-old American seeking his first major championship versus a 28-year-old Irishman chasing golf history.
Reed and McIlroy are forever linked to that singles match two years ago, which Reed won on the 18th hole. The personalities are unchanged. The events, and the stakes, are entirely different.
The crowd figures to be equally loud, just not as obnoxious.
“There’s a lot of stuff that you can do at a Ryder Cup that you can’t do at Augusta National,” Reed said with a smile.
Don’t look for McIlroy to cup his hand over his ear to encourage the gallery to scream even louder. Or for Reed to point at McIlroy if he pulls off a clutch moment.
Besides, it’s stroke play. Reed had a three-shot lead. And it wasn’t just about them.
Keeping the lead won’t be easy for Reed, not on this stage. But he doesn’t buy into the idea that the pressure is all on him, a notion McIlroy quickly suggested.
“I am leading,” he said. “At the same time, he’s going for the career Grand Slam.”