WINDERMERE, Florida (Reuters) - Tiger Woods stumbled with another case of yips on his chip shots, taking a triple bogey that consigned him to a last-place tie in the Hero World Challenge on Sunday.
Woods, plagued by chipping disasters in this comeback tournament from a four-month absence, chunked two chip shots and then sent another racing by the hole on his way to an eight at the par-five 13th hole.
That moved the 14-times major winner from two under par to one-over in the elite 18-player tournament that benefits his foundation. After another three-putt bogey, a pair of birdies from the 16th gave him a 72 and even-par 288 for the event.
“My short game was awful. But the good side is I played four straight days and felt no pain, and hit the ball as hard as I wanted to, over bunkers and cutting corners,” Woods told reporters in assessing his state of play as he assimilates a swing change with new consultant Chris Como.
The former world number one said a new release point on his shots was affecting his chipping motion, but he was not worried. “Over these holidays, I can refine it,” he said, adding that he planned a full schedule for the upcoming season.
Woods opened the tournament with a 77 after going five-over on his first nine holes.
The tournament host improved in the next two rounds despite suffering from flu symptoms and got his total score under par Sunday with a birdie at the seventh — his 61st hole of the event and rolled in another birdie at the ninth.
He seemed poised to reach a modest goal in his return to competition before his chipping failures.
“He said, ‘I’m sick and tired of being in last place,’” his mother, Kultida, told Reuters at the first green.
But the 38-year-old Woods was stuck in that position, tied with Hunter Mahan as they trailed runaway leader Jordan Spieth by 26 strokes.
Editing by Gene Cherry