Hoylake (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Tiger Woods rued his mistakes on Saturday after another uncharacteristic third round score left him out of the running at the British Open, 19 shots behind runaway leader Rory McIlroy.
The American icon came to Royal Liverpool Golf Club with ambitions of winning for the second time on the par-72 layout and taking his haul of majors to 15, three shy of record held by Jack Nicklaus.
However, a fine opening round of three under 69 that put the 38-year-old in contention, was wasted on Friday when a 77 meant that he barely made the cut, with a last gasp birdie, just to stay in the tournament.
That was followed by a round of 73, that extinguished his hopes on Saturday, and left the Florida native scratching his head as to why his putting touch had deserted him.
"I made a lot of mistakes, I've made two doubles (bogeys) and two triples but on top of that I missed a lot of shots for opportunities for birdies and consequently I'm three over.
Many onlookers doubted Woods' chances coming into a tournament he won in style at Hoylake in 2006, the 12th of his 14 majors, but he has not won a major since the 2008 US Open.
Recent back surgery left him with only two competitive rounds of golf at the Congressional earlier this year, where he missed the cut, although he remained happy to be back playing at the highest level.
"I'm starting to get the flow of the round, the flow of playing again but I've just made too many mistakes," said Woods.
"You can't run up high scores like that and expect to contend, especially when the conditions are this benign. Most of the scores are three-under par or better. I certainly didn't do that.
Woods played his round with a black ribbon attached to his hat in tribute to renowned golf coach Bob Torrance, the father of Sam, who passed away on Friday at the age of 82.
"I've known him a lot over the years, even from my amateur days when I came over here. He's been fantastic to me and we had a lot of great conversations about golf.
"It was always fun picking his brain about the game, how it's evolved and how he believes it should be played. I'm going to miss him very much".