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Putting problems frustrate Woods

World number one Tiger Woods
Woods made just 14 birdies during the tournament

World number one Tiger Woods blamed poor putting for his failure to retain his US Open title on Monday.

The American finished four shots behind surprise winner Lucas Glover in the rain-affected tournament at Bethpage.

Woods started the final round nine strokes off the lead but looked to be in contention until the closing holes.

"Unfortunately I didn't make anything. I hit so many putts that my good ones are not going in, and then my bad ones aren't even close," he said.

As the leaders began to drop shots, Woods looked set to post the score to beat when he birdied the 13th and 14th to reach one under par.

But a bogey at 15 was followed by more missed opportunities as his challenge fizzled out.

"I had a chance. I birdied 13 and 14 and hit the best shot I hit all week at 15," added Woods. "I just ended up making bogey there.

"Then I gave myself chances on the last three holes. Overall, I gave myself so many chances and made nothing.

"That's just what it is. I shot over par coming in and had a lot of work to do, and I gave myself a chance going into today.

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"As well as I hit it all day and to miss that many putts, I've missed them all week, so that's just the way it is."

Woods's closing 69 was the third successive round he had finished better than par after opening the defence of his title with a four-over round of 74.

Arnold Palmer holds the record for the biggest final-round turnaround at the US Open after coming from seven shots back to win in 1960.

Woods had to settle for sixth place with his compatriot Hunter Mahan and Denmark's Soren Hansen with a level par total of 280.

The 33-year-old won the US Open the last time that it was held at Bethpage in 2002, but for the first time in five years he does not hold any of golf's four majors.

However, he became the first US Open champion since Curtis Strange two decades ago to finish in the top 10 when defending his title.

Woods has finished in the top 10 in every strokeplay event he has entered since returning from eight months out following knee surgery.

I know I'm playing a lot better than my results have been showing

David Duval

Aside from his putting problems, Woods, who won at the Memorial tournament in the build-up to Bethpage, confessed he is happy with his recent form.

"I striped it this week," he said. "I hit it just like I did at Memorial and unfortunately I didn't make anything."

The three-times US Open winner will head to the Open Championship next month on 14 major wins as he bids to break Jack Nicklaus's record of 18.

Woods should be joined at Turnberry by former world number one David Duval, who came close to an unexpected second major win at Bethpage.

The 2001 Open champion's world ranking stood at 882 before this week, but he finished in a tie for second place.

"It may be arrogance but it's where I feel like I belong," the 37-year-old said. "I know I'm playing a lot better than my results have been showing.

"I stand before you certainly happy with how I played, but extremely disappointed in the outcome.

"I had no question in my mind I was going to win. I was in the middle of the golf tournament trying to make birdies and I was just having a blast."



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see also
Glover grabs dramatic US Open win
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Fisher buoyed by US Open display
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US Open photos
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Barnes remains on top in US Open
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Barnes grabs US Open halfway lead
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Woods targeting record comeback
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Harrington rues miserable US Open
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Weir sets early pace in US Open
19 Jun 09 |  Golf
Play called off at sodden US Open
19 Jun 09 |  Golf


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