Tiger Woods didn't win his own golf tournament, didn't make a Sunday charge, and never really contended after Friday afternoon. He was in the mix, yet he wasn't, and he undoubtedly left Sherwood Country Club a bit miffed about a relatively ordinary performance.
It was far from the riveting duel he had with McDowell two years ago, or the back-and-forth Woods had with Zach Johnson last year as Tiger won his first victory in more than two years with the fabulous scotty cameron putter for sale online.
But this time, the stakes were different. Woods made it clear that he viewed this tournament as the end to the 2012 season, and he will take an extended break before getting ready for his first event of 2013. Woods is unlikely to pick up a club again before the holidays, unless it is to knock balls around with his son Charlie.
Unlike a year ago, when a victory here was deemed as a huge step in his return to prominence, a win this time would not have carried the same weight. Woods had proved already throughout the course of 2012 that he was back among the elite in the game.
His win with his favorite scotty cameron putter at Sherwood last year, although unofficial, was his first since November 2009, and the world ranking points helped him jump from just inside the top 50 to 21st. He added three more official victories on the PGA Tour at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Memorial Tournament and AT&T National. He ends his 2012 season ranked No. 3 in the world behind Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald.
Woods said his list is considerably shorter than it was a year ago, but if his week at Sherwood showed anything, it was his struggles with the short irons. That would clearly seem to be a point of emphasis in the offseason.
Throughout the 2012 season, it was clear that was the area that has yet to come around.
While Woods was second on the PGA Tour in scoring average at 68.904, sixth in total driving and 34th in strokes gained putting, his ability to hit shots close in the so-called "scoring" zone kept him from doing better.