Tiger: I was close to a win

12 March 2018 05:30:35 EST

Despite holing a dramatic 44-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole of the final round Tiger Woods couldn't claim victory in the Valspar Championship, but his comeback remains on track.

Englishman Paul Casey earned his first victory on the PGA Tour since 2009, finishing on 10-under-par 274, with Woods sharing second place alongside fellow American Patrick Reed on 9-under.

Unfortunately I just didn't quite feel as sharp as I needed to with my irons, but I believe my game is progressing.

Tiger Woods

Afterwards 42-year-old Woods didn't even attempt to hide his excitement.

"I was close," he said. "I had a chance today. Unfortunately I just didn't quite feel as sharp as I needed to with my irons, but I believe my game is progressing.

"I had really some nice building blocks at the Honda Classic, I made a few tweaks for this week and it paid off. I hit the ball well, made some putts and, you know, the thing that I was the most happy about this week is when I did miss, I missed on the correct side and that's what we have to do out here.

"My up and downs were relatively easy this week, all things considered. You know, if I missed the fairway I was on the correct side. If I missed the green, I was on the correct side. That adds up over the course of a week."

Perhaps the most striking aspect of Woods' performance was that it came on a course most observers believed would not suit his game.

In contrast, this week he heads to the Bay Hill Club, home of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a tournament he has won eight times.

"I'm very excited," enthused Woods. "It's a golf course I like. I've played well there throughout the years and just haven't been back in a couple years. Nice to get back.

"I'm not touching the clubs tomorrow though. Get some rest and get ready to head up there. Just really looking forward to it."

Woods is 11/2 to win the tournament outright and 12/1 to win next month's Masters at Augusta National.

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