Woods went out-of-bounds on his second tee shot of the final round at Merion and closed with a 4-over 74. That gave him his worst 72-hole score as a pro in the U.S. Open, and it tied for his high score in any major.
"I did a lot of things right," Woods said. "Unfortunately, I did a few things wrong, as well."
Woods finished at 13-over 293.
His previous high score in a U.S. Open was 290 at The Olympic Club in 1998 and Shinnecock Hills in 2004. Woods shot 294 at Oakland Hills in 1996 as an amateur.
Just two days ago, Woods was four shots out of the lead and very much in the hunt to end his five-year drought in the majors. Then, he went 76-74 for his worst weekend in a major championship. Just over two weeks ago, the world's No. 1 player had won three of his last four events on the PGA Tour and was starting to establish his dominance.
But he looked ordinary at Merion.
Starting the final round 10 shots behind, Woods made a birdie putt on the opening hole. Instead of a fist pump, he offered only a mild wave. Whatever hopes he had of at least getting his name on the leaderboard ended quickly. Woods pushed his tee shot to the right on the par-5 second hole, over the trees and out-of-bounds. His next tee shot was close to going out-of-bounds, stopping a few yards away in front of a tree. He wound up with a triple bogey.
It was his only big number of the week, though his 20 bogeys were startling.
"I struggled with the speed all week," Woods said. "These greens are grainy. It's one of the older bent grasses — creeping bent. I struggled with the speed, especially right around the hole. Putts were breaking a lot more. I gave it a little more break and then it would hang. That's kind of the way it was this week."
The 293 matched his high score at any major, last year at the Masters when he tied for 40th.
Woods did not mention any pain in his left elbow, though he kept that a mystery throughout the week. He was flexing and shaking his left hand on shots out of the rough early in the week, saying only that it was painful. He later revealed that he first hurt it at The Players Championship last month, which he won. But he didn't mention the shot or even which round it happened.
Merion remained a mystery for Woods throughout the week. For the first time since Olympic in 1998 — the year he was rebuilding his swing — he failed to break par in any of the four rounds at a U.S. Open.
"It played tricky. The rough was up," Woods said. "They were raking the rough up every morning into the grain, and the pins were really tough."
Woods plays again in two weeks at the AT&T National at Congressional, where he is the defending champion. His next major is the British Open at Muirfield, where in 2002 he was going for the calendar Grand Slam until he got caught in a vicious weather pattern of a cold, sideways rain and shot 81 to fall from contention. The final major of the year is at Oak Hill for the PGA Championship, where 10 years ago Woods never shot better than 72 and wound up at 12-over 292.
"There's always a lesson to be learned in every tournament, whether you win or lose," Woods said. "I'll look back at the things I did right and the things I did wrong."
Collated final round scores on Sunday at the 113th US Open golf championship at 6,996-yard, par-70 Merion Golf Club:
281 - Justin Rose (ENG) 71-69-71-70
283 - Jason Day (AUS) 70-74-68-71, Phil Mickelson (USA) 67-72-70-74
285 - Jason Dufner (USA) 74-71-73-67, Ernie Els (RSA) 71-72-73-69, Billy Horschel (USA) 72-67-72-74, Hunter Mahan (USA) 72-69-69-75
286 - Luke Donald (ENG) 68-72-71-75, Steve Stricker (USA) 71-69-70-76
287 - Hideki Maysuyama (JPN) 71-75-74-67, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 69-72-74-72, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP) 71-72-72-72, Rickie Fowler (USA) 70-76-67-74
288 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 70-71-69-78
289 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 70-77-69-73, John Senden (AUS) 70-71-74-74
290 - John Huh (USA) 71-73-75-71, Brandt Snedeker (USA) 74-74-70-72, David Lingmerth (SWE 74-71-71-74, Michael Kim (USA) 73-70-71-76
291 - Martin Laird (SCO) 74-73-76-68, David Hearn (CAN) 78-69-73-71, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 73-71-75-72, Mathew Goggin (AUS) 68-74-76-73, Bo Van Pelt (USA) 73-71-72-75, Ian Poulter (ENG) 71-71-73-76, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 74-68-73-76
292 - Mike Weir (CAN) 72-76-75-69, John Parry (ENG) 76-71-72-73, Matt Kuchar (USA) 74-73-72-73, Morten Orum Madsen (DEN) 74-74-70-74
293 - Kevin Chappell (USA) 72-76-74-71, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 74-70-77-72, Webb Simpson (USA) 71-75-75-72, K.J. Choi (KOR) 70-76-75-72, Tiger Woods (USA), Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 73-73-73-74, Edward Loar (USA) 73-71-73-76 Bubba Watson (USA) 73-70-76-74, Paul Lawrie (SCO) 76-71-69-77
294 - Carl Pettersson (SWE) 72-75-74-73, Scott Langley (USA) 75-70-75-74, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 73-70-75-76, Jerry Kelly (USA) 70-73-75-76
295 - Steven Alker (NZL) 73-75-75-72, Russell Knox (SCO) 69-75-77-74, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 73-73-75-74, Kim Bi-O (KOR) 72-75-73-75, Adam Scott (AUS) 72-75-73-75, Pan Cheng-Tsung (TPE) 72-72-75-76, Charley Hoffman (USA) 71-73-72-79, Paul Casey (ENG) 73-72-71-79
296 - Scott Stallings (USA) 71-76-76-73, Matt Bettencourt (USA) 72-71-76-77
297 - Dustin Johnson (USA) 71-77-75-74
298 - Nicholas Thompson (USA) 72-76-74-76, Josh Teater (USA) 74-74-74-76 George Coetzee (RSA),
299 - Shawn Stefani (USA) 72-73-85-69, Martin Kaymer (GER) 76-72-77-74, Marcel Siem (GER) 73-71-77-78
300 - Kevin Phelan (IRL) 71-77-78-74, Matt Weibring (USA) 75-73-76-76
301 - Michael Weaver (USA) 74-74-78-75
302 - Peter Hedblom (SWE) 70-78-79-75, David Howell (ENG) 77-71-77-77
303 - Kevin Sutherland (USA) 73-74-84-72, John Peterson (USA) 73-75-78-77, Jim Herman (USA) 76-72-76-79, Alistair Presnall (AUS) 73-75-76-79
305 - Robert Karlsson (SWE) 74-72-86-73
306 - Simon Khan (ENG) 74-74-82-76
308 - Kyle Stanley (USA) 71-74-85-78