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Tiger: Take out the penalties and I'm playing well

ESPN staff
March 4, 2013 « Short run-up sweet for Finn | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods exhibited some frustration during his final round on Sunday © Getty Images
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Tiger Woods believes he is well-placed to contend at next month's Masters as long as he removes the sloppy mistakes from his game.

Woods finished in a disappointing tie for 37th at the Honda Classic, with a final round of 74 seeing him finish four-over for the tournament.

It was an erratic closing display from the 14-time major champion, as he lost one ball and found the water with two others at PGA National - just a day after a lost ball at the 17th derailed a mini-revival that had threatened to bring him into tournament contention.

Coming just six weeks after Woods missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship after picking up a two-shot penalty for a rules infringement, the American insists his game is in good shape - if he can cut out such costly mistakes.

"I feel good with what I did," Woods said. "It's just penalty shots. I've just got to clean up the rounds. Obviously make a couple more putts and next thing you know, I'm three-under par."

He added: "I had a lost ball today and two water balls and shot four-over. The penalty shots certainly added up my score and it was a round that I felt like I should have shot probably even-par or maybe one- or two-under.

"Those penalty shots, I missed two short birdie putts, one really short one at eight and a good one at 10."

As he did last year, Woods eagled the par-five 18th to finish the tournament with a flourish. However, unlike in 2012, that putt was not for a round of 62.

"Not even close," Woods joked. "I think I passed 62 around 12."

The tournament was eventually won by Michael Thompson, who climbed 59 places to 45th in the world rankings with his victory in Florida - in the process earning himself an invitation to The Masters, had he not already sealed one by finishing joint-second to Webb Simpson at last year's US Open.

Runner-up Geoff Ogilvy is still to earn his berth to Augusta - having missed out by a single world ranking place at the end of 2012 - but, after climbing to 47th in the standings, will tee it up at the first major of the year if he remains inside the top 50 in the week prior to the tournament.

Having also earned a spot in next week's WGC-Cadillac Championship, the 2006 US Open champion has a great opportunity to achieve that aim.

"I didn't think that was possible, I thought I had to win," Ogilvy said, when told about his berth in next week's event. "Wasn't any fun missing the [WGC] Match Play and it wouldn't have been any fun missing next week, both are tournaments that I've played well in before."

He added: "It gets me back in the mix for The Masters, because I'm not in The Masters yet. I would have loved to have won here and sealed that, but at least I've gone in the right direction."

World rankings: 1. Rory McIlroy (NIR), 2. Tiger Woods (USA), 3. Luke Donald (ENG), 4. Brandt Snedeker (USA), 5. Justin Rose (ENG), 6. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), 7. Adam Scott (AUS), (USA), 8. Matt Kuchar (USA), 9. Lee Westwood (ENG), 10. Ian Poulter (ENG), 11. Bubba Watson (USA), 12. Phil Mickelson (USA), 13. Steve Stricker (USA), 14. Charl Schwartzel (RSA), 15. Keegan Bradley (USA), 16. Jason Dufner (USA), 17. Webb Simpson (USA), 18. Sergio Garcia (ESP), 19. Graeme McDowell (NIR), 20. Dustin Johnson (USA)

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