Another day and the same similar result for Tiger Woods. For the first time in 12 starts at Firestone, he posted two consecutive rounds over par with a 72 on Friday to follow the 74 on Friday. If I’m Tiger, I wish there were a cut in WGC events. With the PGA Championship next week (you know, glory’s last shot!), it’s hard to find your game in competition. His time would probably be better served on the practice range.
Gary Van Sickle’s report pretty much sums things up:
After Tiger emerged from the scoring trailer early Friday afternoon, a Tour media official, who seemed resigned to the inevitable answer, asked if Woods wanted to do a media interview. “F— no,” Woods answered, in a joking tone of voice. How about a TV interview? “F— no,” Woods repeated.
It was understandable. Firestone is a place that tests your game. It’s not a place to find your game if you arrived with it in tatters. A few moments later, Woods pulled out of the player parking lot in his courtesy Lexus SUV and drove away.
When you hit three fairways and seven greens and only beat five players, it’s excusable that the world’s number one doesn’t want to speak to anyone. The humiliation and the frustration are enough to bear.
Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson is in prime position to dethrone Tiger. If Phil finishes in the top four and Tiger outside the top 44, then Phil will reach the number-one ranking for the first time in his career.
In his two-under 68 Friday showing to follow the four-under 66, Phil is T2 and chasing South African Retief Goosen. Of course, he’ll tell us that winning is on his mind, but he finally admits that the world rankings are, too.
“Obviously it would be cool,” he said. “I’m not going to say it wouldn’t. It would be something I would love to do and ultimately be regarded as No. 1 according to the rankings and so forth. And I know that I’ve got a great opportunity this week. I know that I’m playing well, and this is my best opportunity. I try not to think about it.”
There are still 36 holes to go, but come Monday, we could have a new No. 1 for the first time in 270 weeks. Oh, did I just jinx him?
[AP Photo/Tony Dejak]