SOUTHAMPTON • A gutsy birdie-birdie finish was not enough to put Tiger Woods through to the weekend at the US Open, but the US superstar "absolutely" believes he will win another Major title.
Woods, playing the US Open for the first time since he missed the cut in an injury-plagued 2015, was clearly heading for an early exit after a bogey at his 15th hole - the par-four sixth - pushed him to 12 over for the tournament.
He dug in and rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-four eighth and a 17-footer at par-four ninth to complete a two-over 72 for a 10-over total of 150 - still not enough to make the cut that fell at eight over.
"I'm not very happy the way I played and the way I putted," said Woods, who opened with a 78. "I don't know that you can be too happy and too excited about 10 over par."
But Woods, who was 14 shots behind leader Dustin Johnson, said that 10 official starts into his latest injury comeback, he had no doubt he would add to his total of 14 Major championships.
"Absolutely," said the 42-year-old, who has not finished in the top five of a Major since the 2013 Masters. "Have you seen the way I've been swinging?"
Woods, whose last Major win was at the 2008 US Open, has shown flashes of brilliance in his latest comeback season but has yet to bring together every aspect of his game in one week for a victory.
He finished second at the Valspar Championship in March and tied for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He put on a ball-striking clinic at the Memorial two weeks ago, but after putting his name atop the leaderboard in the third round, succumbed to putting woes to finish tied for 23rd.
"I'm hitting it just fine," he added. "I just have not made any putts, and then, importantly, I haven't made key ones to keep the momentum going, or if I have any positive momentum, I miss a putt and derail it."
"I think they're all hard," he said of the Major events - and which he might be most likely to win again. "They're the hardest fields and usually the hardest set-ups. You have to be on."