Woods stepped into a cactus while hitting out of the dunes on the 15th hole in the morning, and his day got even more painful from there. He has gone 14 majors since winning his last one, No. 14, at the 2008 U.S. Open. He looks to be closer, with three PGA Tour wins this year and two 36-hole leads in the majors.
His regret when it was over — he tied for 11th — was all about attitude.
"I came out with the probably the wrong attitude yesterday," he said. "And I was too relaxed, and tried to enjoy it, and that's now how I play. I play intense and full systems go. That cost me."
It might not have mattered.
McIlroy said earlier in the week that he only wanted to give himself a chance, to feel that buzz of being in contention in the final round. He wound up putting the buzz back into golf, a sport in which all the talk has been about parity. McIlroy's name on the leaderboard means something.
"Rory is showing that with his 'A' game, everybody else is going to struggle to compete with him," Harrington said. "And Tiger needs his 'A' game to come up against Rory. ... If Rory is playing as well as he is, Tiger is not going to pick a major off unless he's got his 'A' game out there."
McIlroy is the sixth-youngest player to win two majors. The others were Young Tom Morris, John McDermott, Gene Sarazen, Nicklaus and Ballesteros. McIlroy set himself apart in one measure. He has won two majors by a combined 16 shots.