Tiger out of Match Play after missing 4-foot putt

AUSTIN, Texas — Tiger Woods lost his quarterfinal match to Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when he bogeyed the 18th hole, missing a 4-footer for par to lose 1 down.

It means he finishes the tournament tied for fifth.

Woods had a 2-up lead through six holes but lost the seventh and 10th holes to go back to even before forging ahead at the 11th when Bjerregaard bogeyed. Both players birdied the 12th and 13th holes, but it was a 30-foot eagle putt at the 15th for the Dane that tied the match.

At the par-3 17th, both players birdied, sending the match to the 18th, where they each pounded drives down the right side and into the rough.

And that’s where Woods made a costly mistake. His flop from the rough came up short and in the bunker, with Bjerregaard hitting his approach to 16 feet from a similar distance. Bjerregaard missed the birdie putt but Woods failed to make the 4-footer for par, ending his tournament.

Earlier in the day, Woods prevailed 2 and 1 over Rory McIlroy at Austin Country Club to advance to the afternoon quarterfinals against Bjerregaard.

“It was a tough match for both of us,” Woods said of the match with McIlroy. “I knew it was going to be a ball-striking match. We were both playing well coming into this match, and the year that Rory has had, he doesn’t do anything poorly.

“I tried to match him shot for shot with ball-striking and hopefully make a couple of putts here and there. Rory made a couple of birdies, I only made a couple of birdies. It was a tough day with the conditions changing.”

Woods had no trouble keeping up with McIlroy off the tee in the early going, and built a 2-up lead with birdies at the fifth and sixth holes, then was gifted the 10th hole when McIlroy missed a 3-footer.

But McIlroy turned things around with his own birdies at the 12th and 13th holes, then appeared in prime position to tie the match at the par-5 16th.

With Woods having to play out sideways from a fairway bunker, and then hitting his third on the green to 25 feet, McIlroy was in the fairway after bombing his tee shot 395 yards.

He had just 173 yards left, requiring perhaps as little as a 9-iron, but flared it to the right and found himself with an awkward stance, the ball just outside a bunker, his feet in it.

He was only about 100 feet from the hole, but McIlroy pitched long, over the green, and with spectators scurrying out of the way, the ball came to rest against a wooden bulkhead. After considering a drop, McIlroy took an unplayable lie, had to return to the original spot, found the front bunker and then blasted out — before conceding. Woods never even hit a putt.

Woods ended the match after McIlroy nearly holed a long birdie putt at the 17th.

Woods had not made it this far in the tournament since 2008, the last of his three victories.

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