Under par after two rounds and he is right in the ball game was the optimistic gloss applied by Tiger Woods to a three-over-par 74 today. If only he played like he spins bad news. Woods is nowhere near this game, he’s in denial.
There was no repairing to the range to fix his broken game. Instead he left the premises immediately after his media commitments for treatment on the ailing back that collapsed five days ago at Akron. “It wasn’t very good. I hit a lot of bad shots and I never got a putt to the hole. I hit them all on my lines, just for some reason I thought they were going to be a little bit quicker, and I didn’t make the adjustment well enough,” he said.
Woods was one down after two holes, the first of two bogeys on the par-threes on his outward nine. He butchered the chance to recover lost ground at the par-five 18th, his ninth, after leaving a shot in the bunker, and bogeyed the first and second holes at the start of his back nine after poor tee shots. But Woods is nothing if not a scrapper, posting pars all the way home. His only birdie was a chip-in at the 16th hole. “I had plenty of looks to turn my round around and then post something even par, even under par,” he said.
With the lead at six-under par when he pulled out of the car park Woods was guaranteed to start on Friday nine adrift, a situation almost certain to worsen since this afternoon's starters will have completed second rounds by the time he tees off tomorrow.
Woods looked in decent shape while hitting balls in practice but playing with a card in your hand brings with it the accountability absent on the range. “My swing was dialled in on the range. Unfortunately, I didn’t carry it to the golf course.”
The good news is, the back held up under scrutiny. “It’s a little bit stiff, but that’s about it. I’m going to go get treatment and make sure this thing is nice and loose for tomorrow. If I get to under par by the end of tomorrow, get under par for two rounds, that will be right in the ball game.”
Justin Rose was in at one under par, as was Colin Montgomerie, back in major company following his double success on America’s Champions Tour, where he claimed the senior PGA and US Open titles. “It was very enjoyable. The crowd were great, as they have been all year, and most of them were over 50, which helped,” Montgomery said in reference to a relationship with the American public that has not always been so jolly.