AUGUSTA, Ga. Back on Thursday, which seems like months ago, the most famous and accomplished golfer in the world said that this Masters just didn't seem like a Masters. It seemed more like a U.S. Open, Tiger Woods said, "because there's no roars out here anymore."
Ultimately, though, it was the Tiger himself who never did roar.
Even though he finished second at 5 under par, he never was a factor and never really made a run at the Masters that Trevor Immelman won by three strokes.
"I just didn't quite have it this week," Woods said, indicating that his putter failed him and knowing full well that putting is everything at Augusta National. "For some reason, on the longer putts, I was great. On shorter putts, I just kept dragging it."
Naturally, the question that was dragged into the discussion on Sunday was all that talk of the Grand Slam. On his own Web site, Woods had said that winning all four majors in one year was "easily within reason."
"I learned my lesson there with the press. I'm not going to say anything," he said with a laugh, after he shot par 72, commendable but insufficient. "When you're out there playing, you could care less. You're trying to win a golf tournament. You're trying to put yourself in position, which I did, I just didn't make the putts I needed to make this entire week."
You could say he lost it on Saturday, when he shot 68, although he hit the ball well enough to shoot 64 and really put pressure on the leaders. Or you could say he lost it when he made the turn Saturday six shots behind, and bogeyed No. 10. You could say he lost when he didn't build on the 75-foot putt he made for a birdie 3 on No. 11 (he missed a 4-footer for birdie on 13, a 6-footer for par on 14 and a 6-footer for birdie on 16).
The bottom line is that the man with 13 majors still hasn't won one when he trailed after 54 holes.
Not that his image was diminished.
'The guy boggles my mind," Immelman said, wearing his new green jacket. "He's frightening with what he gets done, and the ease with which he gets it done."
It's just that this week, nothing came easily for the greatest golfer in the world. He knew that other players had to shoot in the 60s yesterday to pressure Immelman. "It turns out that would have been the case," Woods said. "But I didn't do my part."