Temper-Troubled Tiger Looks for Lesson in Loss

COAL VALLEY, Illinois -- Tiger Woods stared at the ground and tried to collect himself before explaining what went wrong in the final round of the Quad City Classic.

He looked as if he wanted to break something or cry -- or both.

The anger and the hurt were struggling for control of his emotions just as he struggled to control those emotions during Sunday's round at Oakwood Country Club.

"I had a three-stroke lead and it all slipped away in a heartbeat," he said.

Then, turning the hurt into the kind of determination that has marked his relentless pursuit of golf greatness, he said: "I see progress. I keep getting better."

There is no doubting the greatness of Tiger Woods and that victory on the PGA Tour for the 20-year-old rookie is only a matter a time.

Time and perhaps a few more disappointments like Sunday's when he took a one-stroke lead into the final round at Quad City, built it to three after two holes, then lost his composure on two holes and kicked the tournament away.

His fifth-place at Quad City behind Ed Fiori, Andrew Magee, Chris Perry and Steve Jones was Woods' best as a pro.

He finished 60th in his pro debut at the Greater Milwaukee Open three weeks ago and was 11th the next week at the Canadian Open. Now fifth. Next up is the B.C. Open in Endicott, New York.

It is a remarkable debut for Woods, but also a debut that shows how difficult it is to win on the PGA tour.

Woods' 72 was the worst final-round score by anyone in the top-26 in the tournament and only four of the 74 players shot a higher score than Woods on Sunday.

The round unraveled for Woods on the fourth hole.

He drove into an algae-covered pond then, after a penalty drop, hit a tree and the ball bounced into the water again. Walking out of the rough, Woods slammed the tree with his club and shouted at himself.

After two-putting for a quadruple-bogey eight, Woods banged his putter on the ground and cursed himself again.

His focus seemed lost and his confidence shaken.

"This was his tournament to win," Fiori said about Woods. The victory for Fiori, 43, a 19-year-veteran of the tour, was his first since 1982.

"He hit one bad shot and never got over it," he said, referring to the quadruple bogey on No. 4.

Woods won $42,150 to push his winnings to $82,194 in three events -- good for 166th place on the money list -- as he tries to earn the $150,000 to $160,000 he likely will need to get to 125th place and earn his full-time PGA Tour card. He has at least four more tournaments this year.