AKRON, OHIO (AP) - Tiger Woods has never looked worse.
Only there was no trophy waiting for him. This sounded more like a sympathy cheer.
The world’s No. 1 player looked utterly beaten, and he was.
“Shooting 18-over par is not fun,” Woods said. “I don’t see how it can be fun shooting 18 over.”
He missed one last birdie putt to close with a 77. That gave Woods the highest 72-hole score _ 298 _ of any PGA Tour event he ever played, even as an amateur. It was the first time he shot over par in all four rounds since the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
This from a guy who had never finished worse than fifth at Firestone in 11 previous events, who had not shot over par on the South Course since 2006, who last year made PGA Tour history by winning for the seventh time on the same course.
The numbers associated with Woods always have been staggering, now more than ever.
His 298 was 39 shots higher than the record score he shot 10 years ago at Firestone. He tied for 78th, the highest finish of his PGA Tour career. Only Henrik Stenson (20-over 300) kept Woods from finishing dead last. He set a career low by making bogey or worse on 25 of the 72 holes.
No one expected him to dominate as he did before revelations of his sexual escapades in November.
No one could have imagined this.
“He’s just not the regular Tiger we’re used to seeing,” said Anthony Kim, who played his first tournament in three months after thumb surgery and beat Woods by two shots. “He’s obviously had a lot of stuff going on, and he’s dealing with that, and that’s obviously more important than golf. Because I think golf is an easy thing to do once your personal life is straightened out. And I’m sure it’s going to happen soon for him.”
Not even Woods knows. Perhaps more troubling for him _ and the PGA Tour _ is he doesn’t know how much longer he can play this year. With two tournaments remaining before the FedEx Cup playoffs get under way, Woods is not guaranteed of being in the top 125 to get into the opening event at The Barclays.
CBS Sports, which televises the most weekends on the tour, has not had Woods live on Sunday since the Memorial two months ago.