After kicking off his return to competitive golf with a disappointing two-over 73 in the first round of the Frys.com Open, Tiger Woods rallied to shoot a three-under 68 on Friday to get within the cutline. He wasn’t about to miss his second consecutive cut for the first time in his career. (That would’ve been embarrassing!)
“I don’t like missing cuts, period,” said Woods after the second round. “If I miss the cut, that means you can’t win the tournament on the weekend. I’ve got a shot at it this weekend.”
Maybe that’s what he meant on Wednesday about getting a “W”…
Tiger showed glimpses of his former self in his first nine (the back), rolling in three consecutive birdies on holes 14-16. Woods made six birdies, but gave three strokes back with three bogeys. He didn’t post the target number he had in mind going into the round, but you know, it’s a work in progress.
“The number was 64 today,” said Tiger. “That was kind of the goal. I figured if I shot 64, I’d probably be between two and four back. That was kind of my mindset going out. I had it going early there, three in a row to get to 3-under par for the day, and if we could just keep it going here, I could shoot my number.
“I made a couple mistakes there at 18 and 1, but I’m still within seven shots of it (the lead) right now.”
Tiger trails 36-hole leader Paul Casey, who shot a seven-under 64 Friday. Second-round play has yet to finish because of a two-hour, 20-minute fog delay.
He was also happier with his putting.
“I hit one bad putt today, and that was it,” said Tiger, who needed 29 putts. “Every other putt was on line. I hit my lines all day, saw my lines, which was nice. I added two strips of lead on the bottom of it to add a little more weight to get the ball to the hole and fixed my posture again a little bit on the putter. When I did that, I was able to see the line. And I was struggling to see the lines yesterday, and on top of that I couldn’t get the putts to the hole. It was a tough combo platter yesterday.”
Tiger also cited working with his posture with regards to his long game.
“I get into my old posture, and the way I’m rotating through the ball now, that ball is going to go left, so I just need to get better posture, and when I do, I can hit a fade or a draw,” said Tiger when asked about his tendency to miss left. “I just get into these lulls where I kind of go back to my old comfort, especially out here when I’m in tournament mode and got to hit shots.”
He’s getting closer to where he needs to be — like the 5-iron he flushed on the 8th hole at CordeValle — but for now, he has his work cut out for him going into the weekend for even a chance to contend.
“It’s always a progression,” said Tiger. “You’ve got to do it on the range and got to do it on the golf course at home and eventually here and down the stretch and then in major championships and win those bad boys. It’s a progression.”
(AP Photo/Dino Vournas)