The ball rested at the fringe of the cup, its emblem peeking into the opening for what felt like without end.
Again within the day, that ball dropped for Tiger Woods.
On Sunday, it would not budge.
Sure, Woods completed 2nd by means of two strokes to Brooks Koepka on the PGA Championship on Sunday to increase his drought and not using a main for a minimum of 8 extra months. However after the scrambling, club-slamming, fist-pumping, electrifying display he placed on over a spherical of 6-under 64 — his ideally suited remaining spherical at a significant — who can argue that golfing is not extra amusing when Tiger’s within the combine?
“There not anything love it,” stated Gary Wooded area, who used to be within the twosome with the sector’s best-known participant. “The power in that position used to be improbable.”
Even after the excruciating pass over on No. 11 — one who seemed so much like his teetering, toppling chip on No. 16 on the Masters in 2005, apart from that one went in — Woods would no longer hand over.
In a while after Five p.m., he had a 20-foot putt at the 16th inexperienced that may’ve tied him with Koepka, who used to be two holes in the back of however would possibly as neatly were enjoying on any other path in comparison to the push in entrance of him.
That putt slid simply previous.
And Woods’ remaining probability to use actual strain vanished when he driven his tee shot at the par-Five 17th proper of the creek working alongside the correct aspect of the opening. Woods slammed the top of his motive force to the bottom, then swung it violently in frustration. He scrambled to make par, however by the point he reached the 18th fairway, he used to be 3 again of Koepka, who birdied 15 and 16 in the back of him.
On No. 18, Woods introduced one ultimate flourish. He tired his longest putt of the match, a 19-footer putt for birdie, and pumped his fist to have a good time.
Again within the day, that fist pump at the 18th inexperienced would’ve been to have a good time a win.
On these days, he used to be celebrating the grind — and the truth that he merely would no longer cross away.
“I performed onerous,” he stated after completing the match at 14-under 266. “Slightly of a combat with my sport nowadays, however I hung in there.”
In some ways, this felt like previous instances for the 42-year-old — he of the more than one again surgical procedures who could not swing a membership a couple of years again, however has now contended at the again 9 in consecutive majors, best to come back up brief, extra agonizingly so this time than at Carnoustie 3 weeks in the past.
Did he fear day like this would possibly no longer ever come once more?
“Oh, God ,I did not even know if I used to be going to play golfing once more, so yeah,” he stated.
That Woods used to be nonetheless in rivalry after his first 9 holes Sunday used to be a testomony to such a resilience he can display, no longer best over the lengthy haul, however over the usaand-downs of a pressure-packed spherical.
He had a two-way pass over going along with his lengthy golf equipment at the riding vary, then got here out to the path and neglected all seven fairways at the entrance 9. And but, he scrambled. And wanted a grand overall of 10 putts over 9 holes to make the flip at Three-under 32.
Because the putts saved losing, the roars were given louder.
“The primary actual Tiger impact I have skilled, with that many of us,” stated protecting champion Justin Thomas, who performed two teams forward and completed tied for 6th.
Within the seek for two photographs that would’ve made the adaptation, one may level to the dangerous power on 17, the agonizing pass over on 11 or a 12-foot putt to save lots of par that went midway in however rimmed out on No. 14 and in brief halted his momentum.
Or return to Thursday, when a bogey and double bogey on his first two holes just about ended his match prior to it in point of fact started.
However he used to be there on Sunday, getting more potent because the day went on, and making it very tricky for Jim Furyk no longer to select him for the Ryder Cup crew in a couple of weeks.
Regardless that he closes 2018 nonetheless and not using a main identify because the 2008 U.S. Open, it is onerous, after a efficiency like this, to suppose the drought can remaining without end. His main finishes this yr: 32nd on the Masters, reduce within the U.S. Open, tied for 6th on the British, and, now, 2nd on the PGA.
His rating has jumped from 656 to start out the yr to 26 heading out of Bellerive.
Woods hasn’t ever been anyone who used to be happy with 2nd. However he stated he hadn’t felt this excellent at a match he did not win in a very long time.
“I needed to roughly determine this out alone and it is been in point of fact onerous — so much tougher than folks suppose,” he stated. “And I am simply very happy at what I have performed up to now … going from the place I have come from, to now during the last yr, it is been beautiful cool.”