“I'm pretty proud of what I've done,” the 39-year-old Woods said after finishing on five-under-par 283, 13 shots behind winner Jordan Spieth, whose 18 under total matched Woods's 1997 Masters record.
“To make my short game my strength again was pretty sweet. That's something that I have worked my butt off to get to that point.”
The finish was the former world number one's best in a tournament since 2013.
Woods had taken a two-month break to work on his game after struggling coming back from last year's back surgery, a swing change and some embarrassing moments with his short game.
“Being a major championship and to give myself a chance, it felt good,” the four-times Masters winner said.
Erratic off the tee, Woods failed to hit a single fairway on the front nine.
His tee shot at the ninth settled on pine straw to the right of the fairway. Taking a full swing on his approach shot, the 14-times major winner came down on a tree root and after contact he dropped the club and shook his right wrist in pain.
“The bone kind of popped out. The joint went out of place and I put it back in,” Woods said.
Woods went on to par the hole, but bogeyed the 10th after another drive deep into the trees.
He showed his competitive mettle at the par-five 13th, which he reached in two and eagled by curling in a right-to-left putt.
Woods, who missed three short putts in a row from the second hole, said he was not sure when his next tournament will be.
“It's not going to be for a while,” he said. “I'll refine what I'm doing. But I've got my distance back.
“I was pleased with the way I was able to hit the ball this week. I've got my pop back. And then on top that I've got my short game back, which was nice.” – Reuters
Original source: Tiger proud after steady return