Tiger Woods in turn ended a successful painful week at

Tiger Woods, in turn, ended a successful, painful week at the Genesis Invitational

LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods has been far from consistent this week.

Sure, he had several incredible courses of golf. He even posted a 4-under 67 on Saturday for his best lap since his car accident two years ago. But he couldn’t string more than one lap together and Sunday was a perfect example of that.

Woods finished the Genesis Invitational with a final round of 73, dropping him to 1-under for the week. He made five bogeys that day and frequently struggled for the greens, particularly with his putter, which he’s been complaining about all week.

But on the whole, Woods was happy to walk off the green at Riviera Country Club on Sunday afternoon — and he should be. He finished an entire tournament, his first in seven months, under par. As the week went on he looked more and more comfortable.

And while he’s far from winning, a return to a reasonably regular golf routine that can live up to Wood’s own high standards seems very possible in the coming months.

“It was progress, but of course I didn’t win,” Woods said. “My vein [without a win] continues here at Riv. I felt like I certainly missed a lot of shots with some putts the first few days, especially on Friday when I blocked everything. yesterday was better I still wish I could have gotten close to the leaders but today they’re running away with it… I think it’s a good win all round.”

What’s next for Tiger Woods?

Woods will now be driving home from Los Angeles and will need time to recover. The 47-year-old was in visible pain after walking 72 holes in four days, something he has rarely done in the past two years.

While he does everything in his power to prepare for the rigors of a tournament, there’s only so much he can do on his own.

“It was certainly a little bit harder than I probably wanted to admit,” Woods said. “My team has been fantastic at recovering my body day by day and preparing me to play every day.

“That’s the hard part, which I can’t simulate at home. Even if I played four days at home it’s not the same as adrenaline, it’s not the same as the system that’s ramped up like that, the intensity, just the focus it takes to play at that level. I can simulate that very well at home, but it’s just not the same as being out here doing it.”

The story goes on

He hasn’t ruled out playing earlier, but Woods has repeatedly said for months that his goal is simply to play in all four major championships, “and maybe a few more.” That would probably make the Masters in April his next stop.

If he served again before Augusta National it would likely be at The Players Championship, although timing could be tight. There are only two tournaments until early March, which doesn’t leave him much time to recover. That process between rounds has been grueling and fraught with ice, he said, and will take at least a few days to reset properly.

“I was in the ice pretty much all night. It’s not fun, it’s very cold all the time,” Woods said. “And then treatment, then muscle activation and go back and hop back into the cold. The ebb and flow of it, it’s tough. It’s tough mentally, it’s tough physically.”

But just being on course, despite all the extra work it takes his body to make it happen, was something Woods missed.

The treatments are worth it.

“To be in competition here is something different. I miss the boys’ brotherhood,” Woods said. “Because I haven’t played much in recent years, there is a huge turnover. … There are a lot of new faces out here that will be the future of our tour that I’ve had the pleasure to see and play with. It’s nice to see the sales. It’s nice to see the guys who are playing their best right now. Check out what Rahbo [Jon Rahm] did what Max [Homa] did this year, seeing them rise on a golf course like this, that’s what it’s all about.”

If he’s able to remain healthy and ready to compete at TPC Sawgrass for The Players, consistency could be tremendous for his game in April. Woods admittedly struggled to get back into the groove of tour competition.

But it will all come down to his health and that probably won’t change for the rest of his playing career. That’s his future now and he’s okay with that. After everything he has achieved, he does not need to push it.

“My back the way it is, all the surgeries I’ve had on my back, my leg the way it is, I just can’t [try to play much more than the majors],” he said. “That’s just going to be my future … I know that and I understand that. That’s just my reality.”