On the brink: Woods electrifies in 2nd-place finish at PGA - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

On the brink: Woods electrifies in 2nd-place finish at PGA

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson). Tiger Woods celebrates after sinking his birdie putt on the ninth green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson). Tiger Woods celebrates after sinking his birdie putt on the ninth green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson). Tiger Woods reacts to sinking a birdie putt on the ninth green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson). Tiger Woods reacts to sinking a birdie putt on the ninth green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson). Tiger Woods hits to the ninth green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson). Tiger Woods hits to the ninth green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis.

By EDDIE PELLS
AP National Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The ball rested on the edge of the cup, its logo peeking into the hole for what felt like forever.

Back in the day, that ball dropped for Tiger Woods.

On Sunday, it wouldn't budge.

Yes, Woods finished second by two strokes to Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship to extend his drought without a major for at least eight more months. But after the scrambling, club-slamming, fist-pumping, electrifying show he put on over a round of 6-under 64 - his best closing round at a major - who can argue that golf isn't more fun when Tiger's in the mix?

"There's nothing like it," said Gary Woodland, who was in the twosome with the world's best-known player. "The energy in that place was unbelievable."

Even after the excruciating miss on No. 11 - one that looked a lot like his teetering, toppling chip on No. 16 at the Masters in 2005, except that one went in - Woods would not quit.

Shortly after 5 p.m., he had a 20-foot putt on the 16th green that would've tied him with Koepka, who was two holes behind but may as well have been playing on another course compared to the frenzy in front of him.

That putt slid just past.

And Woods' last chance to apply real pressure vanished when he pushed his tee shot on the par-5 17th right of the creek running along the right side of the hole. Woods slammed the head of his driver to the ground, then swung it violently in frustration. He scrambled to make par, but by the time he reached the 18th fairway, he was three back of Koepka, who birdied 15 and 16 behind him.

On No. 18, Woods offered one final flourish. He drained his longest putt of the tournament, a 19-footer putt for birdie, and pumped his fist to celebrate.

Back in the day, that fist pump on the 18th green would've been to celebrate a win.

On this day, he was celebrating the grind - and the fact that he simply would not go away.

"I played hard," he said after finishing the tournament at 14-under 266. "A bit of a struggle with my game today, but I hung in there."

In many ways, this felt like old times for the 42-year-old - he of the multiple back surgeries who couldn't swing a club 11 months ago, but has now contended on the back nine in consecutive majors, only to come up short, more agonizingly so this time than at Carnoustie three weeks ago.

Did he worry that a day like this might not ever come again?

"Oh, God ,I didn't even know if I was going to play golf again, so yeah," he said.

That Woods was still in contention after his first nine holes Sunday was a testament to the sort of resilience he can show, not only over the long haul, but over the ups-and-downs of a pressure-packed round.

He had a two-way miss going with his long clubs on the driving range, then came out to the course and missed all seven fairways on the front nine. And yet, he scrambled. And needed a grand total of 10 putts over nine holes to make the turn at 3-under 32.

As the putts kept dropping, the roars got louder.

"The first real Tiger effect I've experienced, with that many people," said defending champion Justin Thomas, who played two groups ahead and finished tied for sixth.

In the search for two shots that could've made the difference, one could point to the bad drive on 17, the agonizing miss on 11 or a 12-foot putt to save par that went halfway in but rimmed out on No. 14 and briefly halted his momentum.

Or go back to Thursday, when a bogey and double bogey on his first two holes nearly ended his tournament before it really began.

But he was there on Sunday, getting stronger as the day went on, and making it very difficult for Jim Furyk not to pick him for the Ryder Cup team in a few weeks.

Though he closes 2018 still without a major title since the 2008 U.S. Open, it's hard, after a performance like this, to think the drought can last forever. His major finishes this year: 32nd at the Masters, cut in the U.S. Open, tied for sixth at the British, and, now, second at the PGA.

His ranking has jumped from 656 to start the year to 26 heading out of Bellerive.

Woods has never been someone who was satisfied with second. But he said he hadn't felt this good at a tournament he didn't win in a long time.

"I had to kind of figure this out on my own and it's been really hard - a lot harder than people think," he said. "And I'm just very pleased at what I've done so far ... going from where I've come from, to now over the last year, it's been pretty cool."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • US officials: Iraqi refugee was part of terror group

    US officials: Iraqi refugee was part of terror group

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 7:43 PM EDT2018-08-15 23:43:37 GMT
    Thursday, August 16 2018 7:47 AM EDT2018-08-16 11:47:31 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). A federal agent removes items from an apartment following the arrest of Omar Ameen, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. Ameen, a 45-year-old Iraqi refugee, was arrested on a warrant alleging that he killed an Ir...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). A federal agent removes items from an apartment following the arrest of Omar Ameen, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. Ameen, a 45-year-old Iraqi refugee, was arrested on a warrant alleging that he killed an Ir...
    A 45-year-old Iraqi refugee has been arrested in Northern California on a warrant alleging that he killed an Iraqi policeman while serving with the Islamic State terror organization.More >>
    A 45-year-old Iraqi refugee has been arrested in Northern California on a warrant alleging that he killed an Iraqi policeman while serving with the Islamic State terror organization.More >>
  • Church sex scandal: Abuse victims want a full reckoning

    Church sex scandal: Abuse victims want a full reckoning

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 6:08 PM EDT2018-08-15 22:08:15 GMT
    Thursday, August 16 2018 7:46 AM EDT2018-08-16 11:46:24 GMT
    (Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP, File). FILE – In this Oct. 1, 2012, file photo, the Most Rev. Donald Trautman, second from left, retiring bishop of Erie, Pa., prays and lays his hands on the head of Monsignor Lawrence T. Persico, kneeling...(Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP, File). FILE – In this Oct. 1, 2012, file photo, the Most Rev. Donald Trautman, second from left, retiring bishop of Erie, Pa., prays and lays his hands on the head of Monsignor Lawrence T. Persico, kneeling...
    Six Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania joined the list this week of those around the U.S. that have been forced to face the ugly truth about child-molesting priests in their midst. But in dozens of other...More >>
    Six Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania joined the list this week of those around the U.S. that have been forced to face the ugly truth about child-molesting priests in their midst. But in dozens of other dioceses, there has been no reckoning.More >>
  • Pot taxes pick up in California but still far off target

    Pot taxes pick up in California but still far off target

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 8:14 PM EDT2018-08-16 00:14:01 GMT
    Thursday, August 16 2018 7:45 AM EDT2018-08-16 11:45:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File). File - In this May 19, 2018 file photo tourists Randy Wilkie and Keya Cole from Buffalo, New York, check out the offerings of cannabis at one of the MedMen cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles, prior to boarding the Gree...(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File). File - In this May 19, 2018 file photo tourists Randy Wilkie and Keya Cole from Buffalo, New York, check out the offerings of cannabis at one of the MedMen cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles, prior to boarding the Gree...
    When it comes to the taxman, California's legal pot market is getting a sluggish start.More >>
    When it comes to the taxman, California's legal pot market is getting a sluggish start.More >>
Powered by Frankly