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Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament

Woods shoots 77 for highest 4-round total as pro

By Marla Published: August 8, 2010

Tiger Woods carded a 77 in the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club Sunday morning, leaving him tied for 78th in the 80-man field.

He matched his highest final round score as a professional, which he previously carded in the 1998 Bay Hill Invitational.

The seven-time Bridgestone champion's four-round score of 18-over par was his highest as a pro for 72  holes. His 298 total was also his highest four-round score, regardless of par.

His previous worst finish when he played 72 holes was a tie for 60th in his first event, the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open.

Asked if golf was still fun, Woods said, ''Absolutely not. Shooting 18-over par is not fun. I don't see how it can be fun shooting 18-over, especially since my handicap is supposed to be zero.''

Woods was eager to wipe the slate clean before next week's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

''I've got to be ready come Thursday, that's all that matters,'' he said.

Asked what he needs to do to turn his game around, Woods said, ''I need to hit the ball better, I need to chip better, I need to putt better, and I need to score better.''

This weekend marked only the fourth time in his career that Woods has failed to shoot par or better in one of four rounds. The others were the 2003 PGA Championship, the 1999 British Open and the 1998 U.S. Open.

Woods has made the cut and played four rounds in 218 PGA Tour events and this year's Bridgestone was only the 30th time he failed to finish an event with a score of par or better.

Winless in 2010, Woods compared this slump to what he went through when he changed his swing with coach Butch Harmon in the second half of 1997, 1998 and '99.

''I had periods where it wasn't very good,'' he said. ''When I kind of tore my swing apart with Butch after basically the Masters in '97, it took me two years to get it back before I started playing well.''

Sunday's playing partner Anthony Kim understood that Woods is going through a difficult time in his personal life. There are reports that his divorce is in its final stages.

''Well, he's obviously struggling,'' Kim said. ''I mean, he's not hitting it very well, and he's just not the regular Tiger we're used to seeing. He's obviously had a lot of stuff going on, and he's dealing with that, and that's obviously more important than golf. I think golf is an easy thing to do once your personal life is straightened out, and I'm sure it's going to happen soon for him.''

But Kim, playing in his first tournament in three months after thumb surgery, said they did not walk around for 18 holes in stony silence.

''There was a lot of chatter. We hit so many golf shots and they were all in the trees. So while we were walking in the trees together we had a lot of talking going on,'' Kim said.

After winning at Firestone for the previous four years and from 1999-2001, Woods took little from his time in Akron this year.

''The only thing I can say all week is I was patient, and unfortunately that's not enough,'' he said.

Woods said he was not shocked by his performance.

''No, it doesn't surprise me at all actually,'' he said.

Woods said he does not want to play in the Ryder Cup in early October if he does not get his game in order.

''Not playing like this, definitely not, not playing like this,'' he said. ''I mean, I wouldn't help the team if I'm playing like this. No one would help the team if they're shooting 18-over par.''

He knows the dilemma he may present for U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin, who will make two captain's picks after the PGA.

''I think I can turn it around, but we've got a lot of time between now and then, which is good,'' Woods said. 

Woods said on Wednesday that he planned on playing in the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China in November. If not for that, he might be tempted to take another extended break from the game, as he did from last November until the 2010 Masters.

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