Golf

Tiger Woods ends 2019 U.S. Open with birdie barrage at Pebble Beach

Tiger Woods ends 2019 U.S. Open with birdie barrage at Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH -- Through six holes Sunday at Pebble Beach, Tiger Woods had people doubting if he wanted to be there. If the achy back he mentioned Saturday could hold up when it's not 75 and humid. 

There he was, walking off the sixth green after tapping in for the fourth bogey in his first six holes. He looked like he would rather be anywhere else than at a course he toyed with half a lifetime ago. 

But Woods, who couldn't get anything going all week, finally gave the crowd something to cheer about. 

In his patented Sunday red and black, Woods poured in a 13-foot birdie putt at No. 7. He followed it with a birdie at No. 8 to make the turn at 2-over for the day and the championship. 

After making four straight pars, Woods drained a 42-foot putt for birdie on No. 13, and then he stuck his approach shot on No. 14 to five feet for another birdie.

He was back to even, but the birdie train wasn't done.

Woods added another birdie to his scorecard at No. 16 after he laced a 7 iron to five feet. Then, he punctuated his back-nine flurry by sticking his approach on 18 inside four feet. He sank the birdie to putt to finish the tournament at 2-under-par after playing his final 12 holes in 6-under. It was his best U.S. Open score in 10 years. 

"I wish I would have known because I would have turned it around a little earlier than that," Woods said after his round Sunday. "Again, got off to another crappy start and was able to fight it off. Turned back around and got it to under par for the week which is -- normally it's a good thing, but this week the guys are definitely taking to it." 

After winning The Masters in April, the 43-year-old only has played three times since, and he won't tee it up again until The British Open next month at Royal Portrush. 

When asked if he thought he was still capable of going on major runs as he did in the early 2000s, Woods noted it's all about managing everything not just how he feels physically. 

"As I said, it depends on what -- you've got to figure out what works best for you," Woods said. "Mr. Hogan figured out what worked best for him. Jack figured out what worked best for himself. And it's about a 72-hole grind. It's a long grind and trying to manage yourself over those 72 holes, trying to miss the ball in the correct spots. It all adds up. It's not just a hot streak here and there. It's about doing the right things mentally as well as physically."

[RELATED: U.S. Open prize continues to elude Mickelson]

It was a grind of a week for Woods. He never was able to get anything going on Pebble's scoring holes (Nos. 1-7) and never was a factor in the championship. 

There was no 2000-esque romp to be had. No 2010-like top 10 to be found. 

The next time Pebble Beach hosts the U.S. Open will be in 2027. Woods will be on the other side of 50. Maybe he'll be able to contend then. Maybe he won't. 

There's no telling what eight years will bring to any of us, let alone a guy who's had four major back surgeries. Time has its own plan. 

So if Sunday was Woods' final major moment at Pebble Beach, he made sure the Tiger roars echoed across Stillwater Cove one last time. 

U.S. Open 2019: Phil Mickelson stumbles home in final round at Pebble Beach

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AP

U.S. Open 2019: Phil Mickelson stumbles home in final round at Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH -- The fans at Pebble Beach celebrated fan favorite Phil Mickelson's 49th birthday all Sunday long at the 2019 U.S. Open, serenading him with "Happy Birthday To You" on nearly every hole. The loudest coming after he sank a birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish the championship at 1-over par. 

It wasn't the birthday present Mickelson envisioned when the week began, but it's all his game allowed him to receive.

"Well, I don't know what else to say," Mickelson said after his round. "It's not like I'm going to stop trying. I enjoy the challenge. But I thought this was a really good chance for me.

"I just didn't -- I didn't putt my best, I didn't chip my best. I actually played okay tee to green. I hit a lot of good shots. And my short game was not what it usually is and hasn't been this year. So I'm going to work on that a little bit. I feel like my game has been coming around and I want to finish off this summer."

After winning the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble in February, many thought Phil would be a factor at the U.S. Open, a tournament he's had a record six runner-up finishes in. But Mickelson never was a factor a the iconic course. The next time the U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach will be in 2027 when Mickelson will be 57. This, more likely than not, was his last shot to win the big one at a course that means so much to him. 

"Dealing with losing in this game is a huge thing because even the best -- the greatest winners win such a small percentage of the time," Mickelson said.

"But I have had so many special moments here at Pebble Beach that I can't help but play here and not be thankful and appreciative and grateful for all the gifts that I've been given and to be able to play and compete in this event. This was my first event as a pro, 1992, here. Even though I didn't play my best this week it is a special place and so fun to be a part of it."

At 49, Mickelson appears to be running out of years to compete at a high level in major championships. 

His last second-place finish at the U.S. Open came in 2013 at Merion. A month later he won The British Open championship, his last major win to date.  

Since then, the five-time major champion has struggled in majors, with only three top 10s in 23 starts. 

[RELATED: Rory responds to idea Pebble Beach is playing easy]

Next year, the U.S. Open heads back to Winged Foot, the site of Mickelson's most famous near-miss when he double-bogeyed the final hole to lose to Geoff Ogilvy by one shot in 2006. 

Mickelson will be there, having just turned 50, hoping he still has some magic left for the big stage. 

U.S. Open 2019 live stream: Watch final round at Pebble Beach online

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USATSI

U.S. Open 2019 live stream: Watch final round at Pebble Beach online

It all comes down to this -- 18 holes left to major championship glory. 

Gary Woodland, after posting a third-round 2-under-par 69, holds the lead at the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach with a score of 11-under-par. Justin Rose is one shot back at 10-under. 

The 35-year-old Woodland is in search of his first major title, but he'll have to hold off a hard-charging pack of past major champions in order to lift the hardware on the 18th green on Sunday. 

Brooks Koepka (7-under), Louis Oosthuizen (7-under) and Rory McIlroy (6-under) are within shouting distance of the leader, along with Rose who will go off in the final pairing with Woodland at 2:30 p.m. PT. 

Tiger Woods, on the other hand, grinded out an even-par 71 on Saturday and currently sits 11 shots back of Woodland at even par. He will not be a factor on Sunday. 

[RELATED: Rory responds to idea Pebble Beach is playing easy]

Here's how you can watch the final round of the 2019 U.S. Open online:

When: Sunday, June 16th, starting at 11 a.m. PT
Live Stream: FOXSportsGo