Tiger Woods took a phlegmatic approach to missing the cut in the US PGA Championship at Bethpage.
Woods had been one of the favourites to claim a 16th major title after his emotional victory in the Masters last month, but missed the cut by a single shot following rounds of 72 and 73.
The former world number one had been unable to practice on Wednesday due to illness and had not played competitively since winning his first major for 11 years at Augusta National.
“I’m not playing the weekend. That’s disappointing,” Woods said. “Just didn’t quite have it. (But) I’m the Masters champion and 43-years-old and that’s a pretty good accomplishment.
“I’ve enjoyed being the Masters champion again, the PGA was a quick turnaround and unfortunately I just didn’t play well. I didn’t do all the little things I need to do correctly to post good scores and put myself in position to shoot good scores.”
Asked about his lack of preparation, Woods added: “It’s just the way it goes. You know, just don’t feel well and (am) just not able to do it. But resting would be better, so I would have energy to play.
“There’s no reason why I can’t get up to speed again and crank it back up. I’ve got to start feeling a little bit better first before that happens. We’ll do that first and then start cranking it back up again.
“I just wasn’t moving the way I needed to. That’s the way it goes. There’s going to be days and weeks where it’s just not going to work, and today was one of those days.”
Tiger Woods was the architect of arguably the greatest sporting comeback of all time at Augusta on Sunday, as the 43-year-old swept away years of crippling injuries and personal issues to clinch The Masters for the fifth time.
On a Sunday that just seemed meant for Tiger, there was barely a dry eye on the course after celebrating the improbable victory with his children – some two decades on from the iconic shot of him embracing his late father Earl after his first triumph.
Donald Trump, Barack Obama and Serena Williams were among those who flocked to social media and congratulated Woods on an unfathomable achievement that ended his 11-year drought between wins at a major.
It moved him onto 15 majors in total and three behind Jack Nicklaus – and matching or even surpassing the fabled mark of 18 suddenly doesn’t seem so distant.
Watch Tiger’s thoughts above at the end of an emotional four days.
Woods has not tasted victory at Augusta National since 2005, but contended in the last two majors of 2018 and led the Open at Carnoustie with eight holes to play before finishing sixth behind playing partner Molinari.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been in contention here, but then again the last two majors counts for something,” said Woods, who finished runner-up to Brooks Koepka in the 2018 US PGA at Bellerive.
“I’ve been in the mix with a chance to win in the last two major championship, so that helps. And tomorrow it will be interesting to see if that wind comes up like it’s forecast, 15, 20 miles an hour around this golf course is going to be testy.”
Tee times for the final round have been brought forward in anticipation of thunderstorms in late afternoon, with players heading out in groups of three from both the first and 10th tees.
The final group of Molinari, Woods and Tony Finau will tee off at 09:20 local time (17:20 UAE), with both Woods and Finau two shots off the pace after Molinari’s flawless third round of 66.
“Usually the reward for playing hard and doing all the things correctly is you get a nice little sleep-in come Sunday, but that’s not going to be the case,” Woods added. “We’ve got to get up early and get after it.
“My desire hasn’t changed. I’m just thankful to be able to come back here and play again. Last year was a step in the right direction and we built a season around that and then here we are.
“I always feel pressure. The day I don’t feel pressure is the day I quit. I always thought that if you care about something, obviously you’re going to feel pressure.
“And I’ve always felt it, from the first time I remember ever playing a golf tournament to now. That hasn’t changed.”