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More Major magic on way, insists Tiger Woods

By Andy Hampson

World number one Tiger Woods is convinced his 15th Major title will still come despite seeing another chance pass him by at the Open at Muirfield.

The three-time Open champion (below) began the final day at the Scottish links two strokes off the lead and poised to pounce, but his planned challenge failed to materialise.

The 37-year-old could only manage a three-over-par 74 and finished in a tie for sixth, five shots behind winner Phil Mickelson.

It has been five years since he tasted victory in a Major tournament but he is convinced his game is in the right shape to end that barren run, perhaps at next month's USPGA Championship.

He said: "I've won 14 and in that spell where I haven't won since Torrey Pines (2008 US Open), I've been in there. It's not like I've lost my card and am not playing out here.

"So, I've won some tournaments in that stretch and I've been in probably about half the majors on the back nine on Sunday with a chance to win during that stretch.

"I just haven't done it yet – and hopefully it will be (different) in a few weeks."

Woods carded six bogeys in his round but admitted the frustration was eased by the fact Mickelson put himself into such a formidable position.

The left-hander won by three strokes and was the only player to finish under par after four birdies on the last six holes.

Woods said: "Well, I think if it does feel any better, it is that Phil got to three (under).

"If he would have posted one it would have been a different story.

"I think a lot of us would be a little more ticked than we are now, but he posted three – that's a hell of a number."

Woods put his disappointment down to his failure to read the greens correctly. Over the first two days of the championship the greens played fast late in the day but they were slower at the weekend.

He said: "I had a hard time adjusting to the speeds.

"They were much slower today, much softer. I don't think I got too many putts to the hole.

"I really had a hard time and left myself a couple of long lag putts early on when it was really blowing, and left them way short and didn't make those putts.

"I didn't really play that poorly. I hit a couple of bad shots at 10, 11, that was about it, and at three.

"But other than that I really hit the ball well today.

"I just couldn't ever get the pace of these things."

Meanwhile, Masters champion Adam Scott admits for the second year running he let slip a great chance to win The Open.

When the Australian birdied the 11th on a fluctuating final day at Muirfield he held the outright lead on two under.

But history repeated itself as four successive bogeys from the 13th – just like 12 months ago at Royal Lytham when he squandered four shots in the last four holes – saw him fade away.

By the time he stopped leaking shots with a par at the long 17th Phil Mickelson had already posted the eventual winning score of three under with an impressive four birdies over the last six holes as he surged through the field.

"I let a great chance slip, I felt, during the middle of the round and that's disappointing," said Scott, who finished in a tie for third with English duo Lee Westwood, the overnight leader, and Ian Poulter.

"I'm happy I put myself in with a chance and my game is in great shape, that's the good thing to take from it. I didn't get to the number that Phil finished on but I was right there.

"Had I played a little more solid in the middle of that back nine, I could have had a chance coming in. I think the disappointing thing is this one I felt I wasted a little bit.

"But the game is there and I'm going to look forward to keeping it sharp next week and going to the World Golf Championship (in Akron) and another major (US PGA) in the next couple of weeks."

Having put last year's Open heartbreak behind him with victory in a play-off at Augusta in April the world No.4 looked well set to make a bid to become a multiple major winner.

And he now maintains he still has the confidence to believe that will happen in the future.

Belfast Telegraph

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