March 11 (UPI) — Tiger Woods finished second at Sunday’s Valspar Championship, with the help of a very long birdie putt.
Woods carded a 9-under-par 275 for the tournament at the Innisibrook Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla. That score was good enough to tie him for second place with Patrick Reed for the tournament, giving Woods his first top-5 finish at a PGA Tour event since 2013.
Paul Casey won the tournament, carding a 10-under-par 274. Woods shot a 70 on Thursday, a 68 on Friday, a 67 on Saturday and a 70 in the final round.
He saved his best putt of the tournament for hole No. 17 on Sunday. Woods — wearing his token red shirt and black pants — used a 6-iron off of the tee to find the green. He stood about 44 feet from the hole, before striking the ball on the green. He curled it in from the right, prompting an explosive applause from the large crowd.
Woods had several chances to pick up a stroke on the field. His birdie on 17 got him within a shot of Casey, but Woods just missed a 38-foot putt to the right on the final hole. He ended up with a par on the hole, giving Casey the victory.
“I think that I’ve gotten a little bit better than what I was a couple weeks ago at Honda,” Woods told the Golf Channel after his final round. “I keep getting a just little bit better and a little bit sharper. Today wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked to have had it, but I had a good shot at winning this golf tournament. A couple putts here and there and it could have been a different story.”
Woods said that he will get some rest before hitting the tee box at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational. The first round of the tournament at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge starts on Thursday in Orlando.