The Masters Tournament humbled its reigning master Sunday.
Woods leaves the 13th green after missing an eagle putt, his first of two misses for eagle on the way to his final-round 70. The defending champion finished in a tie for third place
As Tiger Woods signed his scorecard near the 18th green, a member of his entourage had his putter and mimicked snapping it over his knee. Woods' caddie agreed.
"Break the ...," Steve Williams said, throwing the putter to one of Woods' agents.
No Woods fan would have argued. Only three players in the field needed more putts in their final round. The four-time Masters champion finished in a disappointing five-way tie for third place.
"I hit it great today," Woods said. "As good as I hit it today, that's as bad as I putted. ... It was frustrating. I felt in so much control of my ball from tee to green. The best I have hit it in years. The final round of a major that's exactly how you want to hit it. But then again, I absolutely lost it out there on the greens. I putted so bad. I am probably going to go snap this putter in about eight pieces."
Greens that perplexed Woods all day made him pine for his typical game on the final day of a major championship.
"The way I controlled my ball today, I felt like today was the day," Woods said. "If I would have just putted normal. I didn't have to play great. Just had to putt normal. I had so many putts in there inside 10 feet for birdies and eagles, and I missed them all."
Tiger Woods' putting woes cost him dearly in his attempt to his fifth green jacket and a second set of back-to-back Masters titles.
Woods and Williams would have a hard time deciding which was the nearest of the misses.
There was the six-footer on the sixth hole. Woods played his par putt to break right. The four-time Masters champion grimaced as the ball left his putter. There was no break.
The next grimace came at the 11th hole. His birdie try trucked past the cup and threatened to take a dip into the pond at the front left of the green. He had his second bogey of his final round after he missed the par putt coming back.
But the mental side of his game, which has made him so dominant over his 12 years at the Masters, resurfaced. The scoring officials who tracked every shot of the day at the 12th hole said his tee shot was the second-best approach of the final round.
Woods missed the seven-foot birdie try that would have put him back within three shots of the lead.
There were also the putting hiccups that cost him eagles at both the 13th and 15th holes.
"He had some great chances," said Tim Clark, who played with Woods in the final round. "Especially the two eagle putts we normally see Tiger make. ... It didn't look like he hit terrible putts. But the greens really were a lot quicker this afternoon than what they had been all week."
Both were within 12 feet. The four birdies Woods made over the final six holes were stunted by what could have been - a pair of eagles to apply serious pressure to Mickelson.
"If I knew (what went wrong) I would have fixed it," Woods said. "I was both pulling them and pushing them. Bad speed. Short. Long. You name it. I had it all today."
Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.