ARDMORE, Pa. — Tiger Woods has won four times on the PGA Tour this year, but he continues to struggle in major championships.
Woods shot 4-over-par 74 in Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club and wound up 13-over for the tournament.
In 2008, Woods won the U.S. Open for his 14th career major. He trails all-time leader Jack Nicklaus, who has 18.
But in the 20 majors since, Woods has missed four because of injuries. And he’s no closer to the Golden Bear.
Woods blamed his problems this week on his putting.
“I struggled with the speed, especially right around the hole, putts were breaking a lot more, I gave it a little more break and then it would hang,” he said. “That’s kind of the way it was this week.”
MASTERS QUALIFIERS: Seven players earned bids to the 2014 Masters Tournament by virtue of their finish at the U.S. Open.
Winner Justin Rose gets a five-year exemption to Augusta. Other qualifiers are Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner, Ernie Els, Billy Horschel and Hunter Mahan.
In April, Masters and Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne announced changes to the qualification process.
The number of qualifiers from the U.S. Open was cut in half, dropping the number to the top four and ties – the same number given to the top finishers at the British Open and PGA Championship.
The top 12 finishers and ties from the Masters will be eligible to return, down from the top 16 and ties from years past.
Winning PGA Tour events that award full points for the season-ending Tour Championship and the world ranking system are still the primary ways to get to Augusta.
NO SLAM: There will be no sweep of golf’s four majors this year. Adam Scott, the reigning Masters champion, shot 5-over 75 and finished the tournament at 15-over for four rounds.
“I hit a lot of good putts that didn’t go in,” Scott said. “That was the difference. You need all your putts going in at a U.S. Open, whether you’re playing good or bad, otherwise the score doesn’t show up very well at all.”