Tiger Woods finishes with 3-under 67

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Tiger Woods didn't leave The Greenbrier Classic with his first trophy in nearly two years or even a top-25 finish, but he did leave Sunday afternoon with renewed confidence, increased momentum toward the year's third major championship and a relieved smile splashed across his face.

A final-round 3-under 67 gave Woods his first bogey-free scorecard in 55 competitive rounds and his first tournament with three under-par totals this year.

"I played really well today," said Woods, who finished tied for 32nd. "This could have been one of those special rounds. It's the best I've hit it in a very long time. I had full control over all clubs."

Unlike much of this year, which Woods has largely spent battling swing issues and his short game, it was putting that proved to be his foremost deterrent this week. After needing just 25 putts in his opening-round 66, he had 32, 31 and 31 in the final three rounds, including six misses inside 15 feet Sunday.

After the round, though, Woods insisted that he wasn't putting poorly, just hitting good putts that didn't go in.

"I just need to make some putts," he said. "Today was just one of those days. The putts that I read perfectly, I hit right, they still lipped out."

Woods hopes to carry momentum into the upcoming Open Championship at St. Andrews, site of two of his three titles at the game's oldest major.

"I made some nice strides heading into the British Open," he said. "I'll do some good work next week and be ready come Thursday."

Asked whether this week could prove to be a turning point toward the next phase of his career, Woods defiantly disagreed.

Instead, he maintained that last month's Memorial Tournament -- which included a third-round 85 -- was a turning point, because he was able to incorporate his new swing changes rather than reverting to older methods.

"I made a big, giant step at Memorial," he said. "The pattern was set. I just had to refine it. This week we did that. We definitely refined it. ... I was excited about what I was able to do at Memorial, even though I shot those high numbers, shifting the baseline like I did. I'm here now in this position. I'm very excited about that."

Woods will make his next start at The Open Championship, beginning July 16, followed by appearances at his own Quicken Loans National and the PGA Championship. He is not currently qualified for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational or any of the season-ending FedEx Cup events.

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Tiger confident after final round at Greenbrier
Tiger confident after final round at Greenbrier
Senior golf writer Jason Sobel discusses Tiger Woods' 3-under 67 in the final round at The Greenbrier Classic, Woods' first bogey-free scorecard in 55 competitive rounds.
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