Tiger comes up short, finishes 2nd at Valspar

All eyes and phone cameras were on Tiger Woods during the third round of the PGA event in Florida
All eyes and phone cameras were on Tiger Woods during the third round of the PGA event in Florida

12 March, 2018

Two-and-a-half feet short, to be exact.

"I loved his putt on 17". "At least I'm there with a chance going into the weekend".

Paul Casey closed with a 6-under 65 and won the Valspar Championship on Sunday after watching Tiger Woods come up one putt short of a playoff.

Casey rallied from five shots behind.

Although he admitted to getting "bitten" in the Snake Pit on Saturday, where he was twice in the water, the Englishman avoided any such issues when it matter in the final round to claim victory, a shot ahead of Woods and Patrick Reed.

The comeback kid, with 14 major titles to his name, but none since 2008, couldn't quite complete the storybook finish, but four quality rounds of golf, and his best finish since a tie for second in the FedEx Cup playoff opener back in 2013 - the previous year he won a tournament on the PGA Tour - showed that point may not be far away. It's been a struggle over the last few years for Woods to get back into the form everyone is used to seeing him in, but it looks like it has finally happened. "Normally, it's the other way around". When I get out on to the course it isn't the same. "I've played well there throughout the years and just haven't been back in a couple years".

"I'm glad it's this way".

Important note: We're looking for winners of official PGA Tour events only.

"I felt very comfortable, actually".

"I'm up there", Woods said. "Couple putts here and there would have been a different story". A healthy Tiger Woods is great for the sport as it brings back casual fans and overall interest in following one of the game's all-time greats. He pulled a wedge into the left rough on No. 11 and three-putted from 80 feet on No. 14.

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Casey, who finished at 10-under 274, goes up to No. 12 in the world with what he called one of the most rewarding of his 16 victories worldwide.

The 40-year-old began the final round five shots off the lead but carded four birdies and a bogey in a front nine of 33, before rolling in a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th. He thought he flushed it. He twirled his club when the ball was in the air.

Reed bogeyed the 18th after making an unwise play on the finishing green, opting to use a putter rather than a wedge and then seeing his initial putt fail to reach the cup and roll back to his feet.

"There has been a lot [of talk about coming close but not winning]", he said. I know that was a long putt but I was trying to leave it below the hole. I've worked hard for it.

He's bested that a record eight times at Bay Hill, though, site of next week's event.

"As a whole, I felt very good about what I did this week".

Asked what he was thinking on 17 with that long putt that gave him the sniff of the title, he said: "Just get the right speed, and putt to the picture". "As a whole I felt very good about what I did this week".

The Calvary grad was tied for fifth to start the day and played most of the final round among the leaders. The 21-year-old from India shot a 75 to tie for seventh, seven shots behind.

Conners signed for a 68 to sit at nine under but will feel the heat on Sunday with Woods, playing partner Brandt Snedeker (67) and England's Justin Rose (66) all tied second and breathing down his neck. He closed with a 72 and finished three shots behind.

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