Tiger falls agonisingly short as Casey wins Valspar

Paul Casey hit a final round 65 to win in Florida

Woods knows better than anyone those days aren't sure to last, but the progress he's made and the work he's put in have led to this moment. He was just one off the lead through 54 holes but he struggled on Sunday and finished tied for fifth.

Woods dropped in the putt for his first birdie since the opening hole of the day to keep his tournament hopes alive.

Still, for Tiger fans, this weekend was their best sign yet that some semblance of the old Tiger is almost back.

The 14-time major victor, who has struggled with a series of injuries since his most recent victory, laid well back off the 18th tee and hit his approach from 185 yards to just inside 40 feet.

"It's the only time he's congratulated me immediately after a victory", quipped Casey, who won for just the second time in his career. He pocketed $1.170 million.

Woods closed with a 1-under 70 and tied for second, his highest finish in an official tournament since he tied for second at The Barclays in 2013.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (65) finished fourth at eight under while Australia's 2013 Masters victor Adam Scott (72) was tied 16th at three under.

Fellow American Patrick Reed bogeyed the 18th to miss out on a play-off against Casey. "I thought it was just teed up beautifully for him". "I thought a lot about it on Sunday in Mexico as she passed I found out Saturday night Mexico week", he said. Sitting in the locker room watching was rubbish. "I've been ready to go". He chipped his fourth shot from on the green but was unable to hole out for par. Woods had few realistic birdie chances and was forced to settle for pars.

"Today wasn't quite as sharp as I would like to have had it but I had a good chance at winning this tournament", Woods said. I imagine he'll sleep just fine tonight knowing that Tiger will have to wait another week.

On the penultimate green, Tiger was eight-under and facing a testing, right to left, downhill, 40-foot birdie putt.

Reed joined Casey at the top of the leaderboard with a birdie on the 14th but made a mess of the last, his long-range putt failing to get over the ridge in the green and rolling back to his feet. "[On Saturday at Valspar], he putted a little bit off compared to what I saw at Honda, but he drove it way better and I don't see it going backwards from here". "Kept me from having to hole it from the fairway on 18".

Woods was nearly flawless, only a bogey at his final hole, the par-four ninth at Innisbrook Resort north of Tampa, Florida, preventing him from holding the outright clubhouse lead. If he can get back into contention, playing well again? His birdie attempt didn't quite make it up the hill and ended 2 feet short.

"I feel like I'm playing a bit better and cleaner".

Woods' putt shows just how interesting he makes the game of golf, and the hype is still there for the legend after all of this time.

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. For the second straight day, Woods and his thousands upon thousands of fans will be ahead of him.

"My life has been a roller-coaster since I last won on the PGA Tour as I've been divorced, remarried and have kids, and I could not be happier today standing here as the victor of the Valspar", he said. "Usually it's the other way around".

And even though Woods hasn't won himself since 2013, Casey acknowledged that Sunday's one-stroke win is indeed still a big deal. Open your ears as you watch on TV and you'll hear the renewed vigor in the voices of the yutzes who scream, "Get in the hole!" with every shot. From there, he parred out. "I'm afraid to say that". Until 12 onwards, it was serious stuff.

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