Tiger Woods was working through another swing change heading into the 2004 Masters, which marked his 10th – yes, 10th – start at Augusta National.

He had won the World Golf Championships Match Play that year and posted four other top-10s in seven starts before turning onto Magnolia Lane. But at each stop, he was questioned and questioned and questioned about his new swing.

“I feel like I’m playing well,” Woods said ahead of the tournament. “Things that I’ve been working on are starting to come together, which is great. It’s exciting.”

But Woods signed for a dull 75 in the first round – he shot 40 on the front nine just as he did in 1997. Unlike in 1997, however, when he dramatically rebounded to rout the field, Woods was never a factor in 2004.

He flashed some good form during a second-round 69 but stumbled to another 75 in the third round and finished with a 71 to wind up at 2-over 290 in a tie for 22nd.

His final round was not without drama, however, as he vomited in a garbage can after playing the first hole.

2004 Masters: Final leaderboard

“I ate something that didn’t agree with me,” Woods said. “I felt kind of sick on the range and got progressively worse. On the first green, I had to lighten the load a little bit.”

Much of his data on the stat sheet left him feeling ill, too. While he tied for sixth in greens in regulation (72.2 percent), he needed 123 putts as he finished 11 shots back.

“No,” Woods said when asked if there was an issue with his swing. “I’m very close to putting it all together. I made actually nothing today. I just need to make a few more putts, get the ball a little closer to the hole, and it will be all good.

“I didn’t make any putts this week, at all. Any putt that I had within 10 feet for birdie, I didn’t make them, and you have to make those. Occasionally I had a couple of par putts, four or five feet, and I didn’t make those, either. You can’t go around here and not putt well and expect to win.

“I’m disappointed because I didn’t win. That’s obviously the ultimate goal. I felt like I hit the ball well enough to do it, but I just didn’t make any putts.”

As for putts, Phil Mickelson delivered one for the ages. Lefty canned an 18-footer on the 72nd hole to win his first green jacket and his first major. With one giant leap – OK, a vertically challenged leap – Mickelson put an end to his 0-for-42 futility in major championships.

While Mickelson put an end to his streak, Arnold Palmer capped off his remarkable streak. At age 74, the King, an owner of four green jackets, hiked up the 18th fairway for the final time in competition in what was his 50th consecutive Masters start.

This is the tenth story in a series looking at each of Tiger Woods’ appearances at the Masters. Catch up on the series here.

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