Tiger Woods looks on during his final round on day...

Tiger Woods looks on during his final round on day four of the 2012 British Open. (July 22, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England -- The game plan, Tiger Woods said, was to shoot under par going out. Instead, with a triple-bogey 7 on the sixth hole after landing in one of Royal Lytham & St. Annes' steep and evil bunkers, he shot himself in the foot.

As he considered his approach shot to the sixth green Sunday, Woods was even for the round, 6 under for the tournament and four shots behind leader Adam Scott. Woods smacked a 5-iron toward the green.

"It was one yard short [of clearing the bunker],'' Woods said. "One yard. Yeah.''

He basically had no shot in the bunker. "So I tried to ricochet it to the right [of the bunker wall],'' Woods said. "Unfortunately, it ricocheted to the left and it almost hit me [which would have been a two-shot penalty].''

Now he had no shot toward the pin, and had to sit on his left leg outside the bunker to play the next shot, which caromed off the bunker wall again, this time onto the green. But he left his approach putt short and missed that for a three-putt 7. He finished with a 3-over 73.

"It's happened to all of us at one point or another,'' Woods said. "We've all been in position to win tournaments, and sometimes people go ahead and win them and other times we make mistakes. And that's just [how it] goes.''

Woods, 36, has not won a major since beating Rocco Mediate in a playoff in the 2008 U.S. Open. He tied for 40th in the Masters and tied for 21st in the U.S. Open this year.

"It's part of golf,'' he said. "We all go through these phases. Even the greatest players to play have gone through little stretches like this . . . I'm pleased with the way I played here. Unfortunately, a couple [shots] cost me momentum.''

Graeme McDowell, who won the 2010 U.S. Open and for the second time in a month was in the final twosome of a major, shot 5-over 75 and dropped from second to a tie for fifth.

"You go from playing flat pan [windless] golf to a strong cross wind,'' McDowell said, "and there are adaptations you have to make. I didn't make them.''

McDowell, playing with Scott, said there wasn't much he could say as Scott frittered away his lead.

"He struggled on the greens a little bit today,'' McDowell said of Scott. "He's going to be extremely heartbroken and disappointed, but he's a great, great player, and that's what I tried to convey to him on the last green.''

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