Six birdies in the last 12 holes moved Tiger Woods up the leaderboard, but he was a non-factor in the 119th edition of the U.S. Open.
It was a minor consolation to Woods that he finished well at Pebble Beach, but he knows it was just a band-aid to a week's worth of scabs and welts.
"I wish I would have known because I would have turned it around a little earlier than that," Woods said after a final-round 69 that allowed him to finish at 2-under 282, well behind the leaders. "Again, got off to another crappy start and was able to fight it off. Turned back around and got it to under par for the week which is -- normally it's a good thing, but this week the guys are definitely taking to it."
The final round marked the lone time Woods broke 70 in four rounds on the scenic course on the northern California coast. But it sure didn't come easy.
Woods bogeyed four of the first six holes and appeared to be en route to a dreadful day. He bogeyed the par-5 Nos. 1 and 2 to start off the round, failing to sink a five-foot putt on the second hole.
A bogey on the par-3 fifth hole was followed by another bogey on the par-5 sixth, leaving Woods' mood as gloomy as the cloudy sky hovering over the course.
"It was just a matter of can I somehow get it back to even par for the day and the total," said Woods, "and that was our goal."
The turnaround began with a birdie-2 on the 102-yard seventh hole and was followed with a birdie on the par-4 eighth.
After four straight pars, Woods finished with a flourish by nailing birdies on 13, 14, 16 and 18. Nos. 13 and 16 were par-4 holes -- he began his late flurry by sinking a 40-foot putt on 13 -- while Nos. 14 (582 yards) and 18 (539) were par-5s.
The ending left Woods with a positive way to conclude the tournament, even if he was never in contention.
"Just because I got off to a bad start doesn't mean it's over," Woods said. "Keep grinding, keep playing. And I was able to turn my round around today as well as yesterday. So rounds that could have easily slipped away and kind of gone the other way pretty easily I was able to (get a) turnaround."
Woods has won three U.S. Open titles, but the most recent was the memorable 91-hole playoff victory over Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines in 2008.
He said next up on his slate is getting some rest -- "I think I'm going to take a little bit of time off and enjoy some family time," Woods said -- with an eye on being physically fresh next month for The Open Championship (formerly British Open) at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.
"I'm looking forward to getting up there and taking a look at the golf course and trying to figure out," Woods said of a course in which he has never played or seen. "I hope that my practice rounds are such that we get different winds, especially on a golf course that I've never played, and to get a different feel how it could play for the week. And definitely have to do my homework once I get there."
--Field Level Media