Woods did show flashes of old with five birdies in his final-round 72, including three in a row to start the back nine, but a horrible pulled drive way left into water at the 14th led to a triple-bogey – his third seven of the week – and a bogey at the last saw him finish in a tie for 70th on three over par.
The result was his worst in 17 appearances at TPC Sawgrass, although has managed to complete 72 holes in a strokeplay tournament in consecutive starts for the first time in 18 months.
“It was a mixed bag pretty much all week,” said Woods, who is set to drop further from his current world ranking of 125 when the list is updated on Monday. “A lot of really, really good stuff out there, some mediocre and some bad. What did I have? Three sevens on the week. That’s not very good.
“That will get cleaned up over time, but this golf course definitely exposes that. Ernie Els and I were talking about it the other day, it can turn quick here. You can be going along, playing fine, all of a sudden make a double.”
Woods took two months off to work on his game ahead of the Masters, where he showed encouraging signs with a top-20 finish, and he believes he felt more comfortable with his swing at Sawgrass than he did at Augusta despite the contrasting results.
“We have added a couple little pieces to it,” he said. “I reverted back a couple times out there over the course of the week, but also I did some really good stuff out there. It’s going to pay dividends in the end.
“We’re progressing, it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together first. I mean, look where it was at on the West Coast and to where I’m at now. So let’s just keep progressing, keep putting the pieces together, keep chipping away at it. And I’m very pleased at the way we’re just chipping away at it.
“We had some glaring weaknesses at the beginning of the year. Those are now gone. And now we can start cleaning up some other stuff, too.”
Woods, who now has three weeks off before teeing up at The Memorial next month, added that he needs to pay particular attention to improving with his scoring irons following a frustrating week in Florida.
“I wasn’t as sharp with my irons,” he said. “Normally I’m a pretty good iron player and I can get the ball in there tight. And I had a lot of clubs where I was eight-iron on down and I didn’t stiff them. That’s something I have to do better on.”