(CNN) -- He didn't win, but Tiger Woods showed why he is still the No. 1 drawcard in golf with a brave bid for victory at The Barclays tournament Sunday.
He had been tied for the lead after three birdies on his opening nine holes, but a recurrence of his back injury seemed to have scuppered his chances of a sixth PGA Tour title this season.
The American crumpled to his knees in pain after sending an approach shot into the murky water hazard at 13, and he registered a bogey before dropping another shot at 15.
However, he birdied the next two holes to give himself a chance of a playoff against clubhouse leader Adam Scott, but his 27-foot putt from the fringe stopped an inch short of the hole.
A grim-faced Woods received a standing ovation from the gallery crowd at Liberty National in Jersey City, before explaining how his back had gone into "spasm" even before the 13th. The problem started before the tournament, caused by a "too soft" mattress at the hotel where he was staying.
"I had a chance. I hit a good putt. I thought I made it. It was a little double-breaker and I thought I had it," said the 37-year-old, who remained top of the FedEx Cup playoff standings after finishing tied for second with U.S. Open winner Justin Rose, Canada's Graham DeLaet and American Gary Woodland.
Rose could also have made a playoff, but surprisingly three-putted at the last for bogey and a final round of three-under 68.
Woodland also had a chance, but the joint third-round leader could only par as he closed with a disappointing 73.
DeLaet surged up the leaderboard with a seven-birdie 65, but it was not enough to beat Scott as the Masters champion prevailed on 11-under after a flawless 66 to claim the $1.44 million first prize.
Scott, whose caddy Steve Williams helped Woods to many of his successes, said his turning point had been three late birdies on Saturday.
"I'd been playing like a dog," he said. "I don't know if it's been my best golf since the Masters, but I played consistently well to win here."
Scott, who also had top-five finishes at the British Open and PGA Championship, moved up to second in the FedEx Cup standings ahead of the next event in Boston -- the Deutsche Bank Championship this coming week, which features the top 100 players.
British Open champion Phil Mickelson finished two shots off the Australian on 275 following his 65, which left him tied for sixth with fellow Americans D.A. Points and Jim Furyk.
The veteran left-hander moved up to third in the playoff standings.
Matt Kuchar, who won the tournament in 2010, dropped back from sharing the third-round lead to a tie for 19th. His birdie at the last was mere consolation after a triple-bogey seven at the ninth and five other dropped holes.
The 35-year-old slumped to fifth in the standings, from second.