Tiger Woods finishes 9th on comeback

"The one thing I learned from my 10 years as Tiger's coach, and since then, is never say never when it comes to Tiger Woods", Harmon wrote.

The 14-time major champion lit up the front nine at the Albany Golf Course, hitting the turn in 31 for the second time this week before having to settle for a four-under 68 to finish in a share of ninth on eight under. On Monday, he made an even bigger jump in the Official World Golf Ranking. "I really drove the ball a lot better than I was thinking, especially distance-wise". It was Woods' first competitive tournament since February and a fourth back surgery - a spinal fusion - in April.

Fowler made birdies in a variety of ways Sunday, holing out from the bunker and draining long putts. "He may now have chances to win on the PGA Tour again, but winning a major is a different animal".

After two strong rounds put the former world number one in contention for his first win since 2013, Woods recorded four of his five bogeys in the first seven holes to slip to 10th at four-under 212, 10 strokes behind leader Charley Hoffman.

Fowler was in a class of his own in a scintillating exhibition, birdying the first seven holes and surging into a two-shot lead by going out in 28. Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood, who is getting married on the course Tuesday, finished tied for third at 12 under.

"I knew I was going to be able to play all four rounds, that wasn't going to be an issue", said Woods, who also missed all of the 2015-16 season with back trouble. "I showed some good signs", he said, adding that they pointed toward "a bright future".

"Overall I think we should all be very impressed".

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson finished in a tie for 14th at 288 after a final-round 72.


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