Tiger: 'I really could have won'

Updated: July 18, 2004, 4:14 PM ET
Reuters

TROON, Scotland -- Tiger Woods will have to return to the drawing board again, after his expected final-day charge at the British Open failed to materialize on Sunday.

"I had a chance this week and felt like I really could have won this tournament today," said Woods, who finished T-9, seven shots behind Todd Hamilton, who won the title in a four-hole playoff, and Ernie Els.

"Obviously I didn't win so I will have to take a look at where I went wrong, the mistakes I made and rectify them before the next tournament," Woods added of his run of nine majors without a victory since the 2002 U.S. Open.

There was a time, between 1997 and 2002 when he won eight majors, that the American's very presence on the leaderboard in a final round almost guaranteed him a winner's check.

For the moment, those days are gone and even his ranking as the world's best player is under threat from Els after 257 weeks at the top.

Woods no longer puts the fear into his rivals nor seems able to conjure birdies at will when the going gets tough.

It was the same story on Sunday. He bagged a couple of birdies in his opening half and the crowd willed him to mount an old-fashioned Tiger charge.

Instead, he ran into trouble with bogeys following errant shots at the 11th, 12th and 17th holes and had to settle for a closing 1-over 72, 3-under 281 overall.

"I just made too many mistakes here and there. I didn't make any high numbers but I didn't make a lot of birdies either."

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