So his first major since that 2015 PGA Championship was this year's Masters (where he finished tied for 32nd), and his second was the U.S. Open (where he missed the cut).
It was Francesco Molinari who did the spoiling, shooting a 2-under 69 to win at Carnoustie, while McIroy ended up tied for second and Woods faltered and tied for sixth.
The former world number one found himself with a share of the lead on Sunday afternoon with just eight holes to play at Carnoustie. A little more than a year ago, on the heels of a fourth surgical procedure to try and fix his ravaged back, Woods told ESPN's Scott Van Pelt that he might never play competitive golf again.
Sunday's result was not what numerous thousands who tracked through the humps and hollows of the links course wanted, though it probably was for the male spectator who heckled Woods as he hit his drive at the final hole. Like I said, I hadn't felt the energy of the crowd for a while in The Open.
Molinari became the first Italian victor of a major with a nerveless display in the Open Championship at Carnoustie, the 35-year-old carding bogey-free rounds of 65 and 69 at the weekend to hold off challenges from the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.
Despite his results, most of the pundits - even in the early stages of the final round - were too distracted by the likes of Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods to give the Italian much of chance of winning his maiden major title. Just because Woods was a great golfer almost a decade ago doesn't mean he will make a miraculous recovery and be great again.
Molinari took the lead for the first time with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 14th.
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"I knew I was coming in playing some good golf but my record round here was awful".
'I can't tell you how proud that made me feel, the realisation that I had, after all, done something really good for the game in Italy,' said Rocca.
'It's amusing when you look back, how Tiger has been involved in so numerous greatest moments for Italian golf, ' he said.
"I think it was important to break the streak that Americans had gone on winning majors", said Molinari. 'I remember Rocca's singles victory over him at the Ryder Cup in 1997 was huge news back home and then there was my own half against him at the miracle at Medinah in 2012.
"If I win the Senior Open, I'll definitely be back for The Open again, wherever that is".
"I played patiently. I put good swings on it". That doesn't happen very often, especially around that golf course.
"So I can look at it - anyone can look at it however they want to, but I'm going to look at it as a positive moving forward, and try to learn how to handle the situations a little better next time".