Tiger Woods tried to look on the bright side Sunday, despite a final-round 73 that left him well out of the running at the US Open and without a major championship victory since 2008.
"There's a lot of positives this week," insisted Woods, who started the day five shots off the lead and saw any hopes of making a charge unravel when he was six-over through the first six holes at The Olympic Club.
At least his tie for 21st, on seven-over 287 and six shots behind winner Webb Simpson, was better than his equal 40th finish at the Masters in April.
"Overall, the way I struck the golf ball, the way I controlled it all week is something that's very positive going forward.
"If I just would have just hung in there little bit better yesterday and missed it on the correct side a couple times then I would have been in a better position going into today."
Woods looked confident and in control on Thursday and Friday as he seized a share of the 36-hole lead and raised expectations that he could rekindle his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's all-time record of 18 major championships.
He played the two weekend rounds at eight over par, saying it wasn't so much the big misses but the fickleness of Olympic's slanting fairways and greens that cost him.
"I was just a fraction off just a couple yards here and there and that's all it takes," said Woods, who also said he had trouble gauging the speed of the greens. "I had so many balls that landed in the fairway that went into the rough."
Woods opened with a bogey at the par-four first hole, bogeyed the second then missed the green en route to a double-bogey at the par-three third.
A par at the fourth was but a brief respite before bogeys at the fifth and sixth.
By the time he rolled in the first of his three birdies of the day, at the par-three eighth, Woods could only wave his hand dismissively -- his demeanour as gray as the thin fog drifting across the course from the Pacific Ocean.
Woods's 2008 triumph over Rocco Mediate in a US Open playoff at Torrey Pines was the last of his 14 major titles.
Since then he has been slowed by injury, scandal and the re-modelling of his swing.
Two US PGA Tour victories this season, at Bay Hill and Memorial, had bolstered expectations, and Woods said that despite his difficulties the swing changes he has implemented with coach Sean Foley stood up well to the pressure of the US Open.
"I'm excited about the consistency of it," Woods said. "How well I hit the ball all week, really. I didn't really miss it that badly this week."