Golf: Tiger's major misery extended at Oak Hill

Tiger Woods of the United States walks off the 18th green after an even-par 70 during the final round of the 95th PGA Championship on Aug 11, 2013 in Rochester, New York. -- PHOTO: AFP
Tiger Woods of the United States walks off the 18th green after an even-par 70 during the final round of the 95th PGA Championship on Aug 11, 2013 in Rochester, New York. -- PHOTO: AFP

ROCHESTER, United States (AFP) - Tiger Woods says he is unconcerned about another year passing without another major win, but his bid to break the all-time record of Jack Nicklaus is clearly in jeopardy.

World number one Woods spent much of Sunday's final round of the PGA Championship touring the trees and testing the thick rough at Oak Hill's 7,163-yard layout on his way to a par-70 to finish 72 holes on four-over par 284.

The 14-time major champion, chasing the record 18 major wins by Nicklaus, has not won a major title since the 2008 US Open.

And while Woods shared fourth at the Masters and sixth at the British Open this year, he has not broken 70 in his past 16 weekend rounds at a major.

"I was close in the two of them," Woods said of his year at the majors.

"Certainly had a chance to win the Masters and the British this year. The other two, I just didn't hit it good enough. Just the way it goes.

"Is it concerning? No. I've been in half of them. So that's about right. If you are going to be in three-quarters or half of them with a chance to win on the back nine, you have just got to get it done."

Contending in only two majors a year being "about right" is a far cry form the dominance Woods once showed, having won four majors in a row starting at the 2000 US Open.

Woods, who turns 38 in December, faces a crucial stretch in his pursuit of Nicklaus as he has won major titles on courses where five of the next seven majors will be held - two at Augusta National, one at next year's PGA Championship venue Valhalla and one each at the next two British Open venues, Hoylake and St. Andrews.

And his drought will have stretched to nearly six years before his next major opportunity comes again at the Masters next April.

"We have a long way to go to that and I have a lot of golf to play between now and then," Woods said.

Woods said he plans on taking some time off before preparing for the US PGA playoffs and the Presidents Cup in October.

He won't be wanting to see Oak Hill again any time soon, having not cracked par this week or when he finished on 12-over 292 in the 2003 PGA at Oak Hill.

Woods is a combined 63-under par in 14 other PGA Championship appearances but 16-over for his eight rounds at Oak Hill.

With the leaders still on the course, Woods was at risk of his worst 72-hole professional result in a major, worse than his share of 40th at last year's Masters or his share of 29th at the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

"It's a fantastic golf course," Woods said. "It's really tough." Sunday marked the 11th time in his past 12 major rounds that Woods has failed to break par - the lone exception being a 69 in the first round of last month's British Open that was his only sub-70 major round of the year.

"It's more frustrating not being in it," Woods said. "Having a chance on the back nine on Sunday, I can live with that.

"Today I'm grinding my tail off coming in just to shoot even par for the day and I'm nowhere in it. That's tough." A week after cruising to his eighth career victory at Firestone in a World Golf Championships event, Woods could not duplicate the feat under major conditions.

"I put four good rounds together last week. Unfortunately it wasn't this week," Woods said. "Didn't seem to hit it as good and didn't make many putts until the last few holes today. But I didn't give myself many looks and certainly didn't hit the ball good enough to be in it."

Woods took a bogey at eight and missed a three-foot bogey putt at the ninth, but birdied 12, sank a 20-foot birdie putt at 14 and birdied the par-3 15th to finish at par.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.