Tiger growls early, fades late

Tiger growls early, fades late

April 11th, 2011 by David Uchiyama in Sports - Professional

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Tiger Woods finished his Sunday round at the Masters and headed to the clubhouse for a bite to eat.

"I'm starving," said the four-time Masters champion as seven other golfers in contention finished their rounds with Charl Schwartzel emerging as the winner.

He still hasn't tasted victory since his personal life spiraled out of control beginning in November 2009. He is winless on the PGA Tour and 0-for-5 in major championships since.

But he made a run at ending that streak on Sunday.

Woods teed off an hour before the third-round leaders and posted 5-under 31 for the front nine. But he shot an even-par 36 on the back and finished four shots behind Schwartzel.

All the early went effort for naught.

"It was good," Woods said. "I got off to a good start on the front nine, and on the back nine I didn't putt well."

Woods struggled with the putter most of the week, including six three putts.

Quiros keeping Lord

First-round co-leader Alvaro Quiros set a personal Masters records this week with former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga golfer Gareth Lord carrying his bag for the first time.

Quiros shaved 10 strokes off his previous best with a 65 on Thursday. Then Friday he made the cut for the first time in three attempts and finished tied for 27th at 1 under.

"It was the first week for us together, and it's difficult to maximize the score between two people who never worked together before," Quiros said. "I proved to myself that I can make good scores even if the two previous years and the last three rounds didn't show it."

Lord had spent about four seasons working with Robert Karlsson, including four Masters and one Ryder Cup before teaming up with Quiros this week.

"If he's happy on the bag," Quiros said, "I'm happy with him."

Mickelson never a factor

Defending champion Phil Mickelson never challenged the leaderboard during his four-day attempt to add another green jacket.

Mickelson began the final round nine strokes off the lead, but he shot two over par on Sunday and finished tied for 27th, 13 strokes off the pace.

"I never feel like you're out of it," Mickelson said. "I feel like if I could shoot something in the low 60s like a 63 or 64, you just never know what might happen."

Snedeker to return

Former Vanderbilt star Brandt Snedeker assured himself of a return trip to Augusta National in 2012.

By finishing in a tie for 15th he is among the top 16 and ties who are automatically invited back the following year.

"I played really solid and I just couldn't seem to get the few breaks that I needed to have," Snedeker said. "I hit a lot of good putts that lipped out. But that's the way it goes.

"I'll be back here next year and try to figure it out."

Snedeker finished tied with Rory McIlroy, who started Sunday with a four shot lead before shooting a final-round 80. Former U.S. Amateur champion Ricky Barnes missed the the top-16-and-ties cutoff by a shot, and low-amateur Hideki Matsuyama finished at 1 under.