Tiger Woods at Northwestern Mutual World Challenge 2013: Day 4 Score and Recap

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIDecember 8, 2013

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 8, 2013 in Thousand Oaks, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

In a thrilling finish, Tiger Woods came up just short in his attempt to win his sixth Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. Woods had the lead most of the day, but Zach Johnson ultimately overtook him in a one-hole playoff, showing persistence and focus.   

Here's a look at Tiger's final round scorecard.

Tiger Woods Round 4 Card
HOLE123456789OUT
PAR45345443436
ROUND 444344443434
HOLE101112131415161718IN
PAR45354353436
ROUND 445355343436
HOLE PLAYOFF1
Woods
Johnson1UP
PGATour.com

 

A Furious Finish

With a two-shot lead heading into the 14th hole, Woods was mildly comfortable, but that quickly changed. He bogeyed the hole to open the door for Johnson. The 37-year-old managed a par on the hole and matched Woods' birdie on the 16th to remain within a shot.

On the 17th hole, Johnson pulled even with a birdie when Woods came away with a par. On the last hole of regulation things really got crazy. 

Woods' second shot found the bunker, and Johnson seemingly had the huge advantage with his second shot lined up nicely to find the green and set up a birdie chance. Instead, he shanked the attempt and found the hazard. He nearly clipped a duck in the pond with the wayward attempt.

It was shocking to see an upper-echelon professional take such a bad shot in a clutch situation. The shocking shots weren't over, but the bad news for Johnson was. In an equally stunning turn of events, Johnson holed his next shot from the drop zone.

All Tiger could do was smile.

To Woods' credit, he quickly gathered himself and nailed a superb shot out of the bunker. It set him up for an easy birdie and he forced the playoff on the same hole.

In the playoff, Woods again put himself in a precarious position working out of the bunker. Again he battled his way out for a makeable putt with a chance to force another hole. However, this time his six-foot putt went around the hole and came out.

Johnson walked away with the improbable win. You won't find many tournaments that finish with more excitement. A few others played well on Sunday, but Tiger and Johnson were quite the closing act for the event that will be played at a new location beginning next year.

Here's the top portion of the final leaderboard.

Final Leaderboard
PositionGolferTotalRound 4
1Zach Johnson*-13-4 (68)
2Tiger Woods-13-2 (70)
3Bubba Watson-9-2 (70)
4Matt Kuchar-9-5 (67)
5Webb Simpson-7-4 (68)
PGATour.com *won playoff

 

Highlights of Tiger’s Early Play

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the fourth hole during the final round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 8, 2013 in Thousand Oaks, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Ima
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

After breaking even on the opening hole, Woods birdied the par-five second hole for the third straight day. This had been a key to Woods getting off to a strong start in the tournament. Ever since he exploded for the 10-under 62 on Friday, he ruled the first two holes of the course. Through the last three rounds, Woods was four under par in this mini stretch.

He held steady on the third and fourth holes and again took advantage of a par-five opportunity with a birdie on the fifth. It was the first time he was able to birdie the hole since the first round and it seemed to give him even more confidence. As of the fifth hole, he had extended his lead over Johnson to three strokes.

Tiger was able to play the course even through the rest of the front nine and the first four holes of the back nine. It was a calm before the storm that ensued on the 14th hole.

 

Takeaways

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 07: Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson shake hands after finishing their rounds during the third round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 7, 2013 in Thousand Oaks, California.  (Photo by
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Woods has nothing to be ashamed of, as he played well throughout the tournament.

Obviously, he's Tiger, so anything short of the winner's circle will always draw criticism. He was just beaten by a hot golfer who made a collection of amazing shots on Sunday.