Tiger Woods returned to the Masters the same way he left it in 2013, with a 5-under-par 283.
But Sunday’s final round of 73 appeared to come at a cost for Woods, who has been injury-plagued during recent years and didn’t play at Augusta National in 2014 after back surgery.
Playing his second shot out of the pine straw on the ninth hole, he struck a tree root buried in the ground. Grimacing in pain, Woods walked up the fairway with his right shoulder slumped.
“It definitely hurt,” he said. “I didn’t know there was a tree root there. I drove my hand or drove the club straight into it. It didn’t move. But my body kept moving. I told the guys in there that there was a little joint that popped out and I was able to somehow put it back in, which didn’t feel very good, but at least it got back in and I could move my hand again.
“It’s sore. I’m not going to be lifting any weights for a little bit.”
Woods also had a 73 Thursday, but he put together rounds of 69 and 68 over the next two days. He tied for 17th, 13 strokes behind winner Jordan Spieth.
▪ The par-5 13th bit Seung-Yul Noh hard. Noh’s first problem came when he drove into the azaleas and pine trees that run along the left side of the third hole of Amen Corner. Enlisting the help of tournament officials, playing partner Webb Simpson and their caddies, it still took several minutes to find Noh’s ball. His second shot hit a tree and bounced into Rae’s Creek, with his third hitting a rock and bouncing back into the woods. This time, he couldn’t find the ball. Noh took a drop on the fairway and finished with a triple-bogey.
The delay – which lasted nearly 15 minutes – didn’t bother Simpson, who was waiting for Noh on the green. Simpson knocked in a 25-foot birdie putt.
▪ Charlotte-native Bill Haas finished the tournament 6 under, his best Masters performance … Simpson, a Raleigh native who lives in Charlotte, tied for 28th and was 1 under for the day and the tournament. His previous best finishes had been ties for 20th in 2013 and ’14.
▪ Defending champion Bubba Watson, who also won the Masters in 2012, had a 74 Sunday and tied for 38th at 1 over.
▪ Steve Stricker’s round Sunday was his 50th at the Masters. He finished at 1 under after shooting a 68 Sunday.
“I kind of have a love-hate relationship with this place,” said Stricker, who plays a limited schedule. “You want to be here, but I have had the best record here. It’s difficult, all in one. It’s fun, nerve-wracking, all of it. You have your good times going around here and you have some horrible times.”
Stricker tied for 28th.