It had been years since we’ve seen Tiger Woods truly on the prowl on the back nine of a major. This year’s Open Championship was the closest we’d gotten in a long time, but he never could find that extra gear and watched playing partner Francesco Molinari take home the Claret Jug as he slipped away.
On Sunday at Bellerive Country Club, we finally got that vintage push to the finish from Tiger. Whether it ends up being enough to catch Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott remains to be seen, but it shows that he still has that gear when he needs it.
At the 15th hole, Woods was two back of the leaders, 4-under on his round, and ripped his best driver of the day down the middle of the fairway (a rarity on Sunday). From there he delivered yet another vintage Tiger moment, sending his approach directly at the flag with a baby fade, nearly holing out for eagle to set up a tap-in birdie.
The birdie moved him to 13-under on the tournament, one behind the leaders in the group behind and continued to apply pressure to that final group, who both made pars on the 14th while he caused eruptions a hole ahead of them.
Whether Tiger wins or not, Sunday proves he can. He hasn’t finished a tournament all year. His back-nine scoring on Sundays this season has been downright miserable, but on Sunday in St. Louis, that tingling feeling returned as the Big Cat in red and black roamed the course.