Tiger Woods fired a final-round 6-under-par 66 on Sunday to jump up the leaderboard in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Doral. Beginning the last round tied for 30th, he climbed to a tie for 10th with a 72-hole score of 8-under 280. The 66 was Woods' lowest PGA Tour score since a final-round 63 in the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2009. It was also tied for Woods' lowest round of the year with a second-round 66 at the Omega Dubai Desert Challenge in February.
"I hit a lot of good shots out there today," Woods said of his seven-birdie, one-bogey performance. "When I did miss it, I knew exactly what the fix was and was able to rectify it."
After struggling on the grainy greens the first two rounds, Woods switched from his trusty Scotty Cameron putter to a Nike Method mallet putter Saturday and Sunday. It made for a quick improvement, as he used 28 putts Saturday and only 25 on Sunday.
Paired with Thomas Bjrn, Woods birdied the 529-yard, par-5 first hole, where he drove into the left rough, then came up just short of the green with his second shot from 218 yards. Woods knocked his third shot six feet from the cup and converted the putt.
Following pars at Nos. 2, 3 and 4, Woods birdied the 394-yard, par-4 fifth hole. After a big drive, he hit a wedge from 110 yards just inside five feet and rolled in the putt.
Woods made his lone bogey of the day at the 442-yard, par-4 sixth hole. He drove into the right fairway bunker, hit his second shot into the left rough, wedged his third shot 19 feet from the hole and two-putted.
But Woods bounced right back with a nice birdie at the 454-yard, par-4 seventh hole. After a good drive, he hit a wedge from 123 yards to three feet and polished off the putt.
Woods failed to birdie the par-5 eighth, missing a 17-foot putt, then made a nice par-save at the par-3 ninth, where he missed the green long to the left, chipped to four feet and made the putt. Woods made the turn in 2-under 34.
After a par at the par-5 10th, Woods birdied the 402-yard, par-4 11th. He hit a nice approach shot from 166 yards to six feet and made the putt.
Woods followed with another birdie at the 603-yard, par-5 12th, where he found the fairway off the tee but then hit his second shot into the front-left bunker. Woods blasted 15 feet out, however, and buried the putt.
Woods parred the next three holes, then struck again at the short par-4 16th, where his drive finished just short of the green. Faced with a tough, uphill, sand-wedge shot to a front pin placement, Woods did the best he could, but the ball bounced 15 feet past the hole on the firm greens. No matter, as Woods poured in the birdie putt.
At the 419-yard, par-4 17th, Woods drove into the right rough and was left with 131 yards to the pin. He judged the shot beautifully, with the ball landing on the front portion of the putting surface and rolling right over the cup, nearly resulting in an eagle. Instead, the ball stopped three feet past the cup and Woods easily took care of the birdie putt.
"I was just trying to hack it out there somewhere around 90 yards and just let it roll up there," he said. "It came out nicely."
Woods made a solid two-putt par from 60 feet at the 18th hole to complete a satisfying round that was the low score for the day. He wound up hitting eight of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation.
On Monday and Tuesday, Woods will represent Isleworth Country Club, his home course in Orlando, in the annual Tavistock Cup. The six-member team will oppose three other six-member teams in the two-day competition that can be seen live on the Golf Channel.
"I'm peaking at the right time," laughed Woods.