His first birdie of the day on the final hole prevented Tiger Woods’ Open Championship from ending after 36 hole. Now, he is banking on a Paul Lawrie-esque comeback to give him a shot at a third Open title.
The 14-time major winner carded a sloppy five-over-par 77 to tumble from three-under at the start of the day to two-over by its end, making the midway cut on the number.
A double-bogey at the first got the former world No.1’s day off to the worst possible start and he compounded matters with another dropped shot at the second. He then parred every hole until the 17th where he hooked his tee shot out of bounds and was forced to re-load. His second attempt found thick rough down the left and he ultimately coughed up three more shots to tumble to three-over.
However, a gutsy up and down at the last salvaged his tournament and spared him the embarrassment of a second consecutive missed cut.
Despite that, he is 14 shots worse off after two rounds than 36-hole leader Rory McIlroy, but he is adamant he can catch the Northern Irishman – and cited Scotland’s own Paul Lawrie as an example.
“I’m pretty far back but, luckily, I’ve got two rounds to go,” he said. “Hopefully, I can do something like Paul did in 1999. He made up, I think, ten in one day. Hopefully, I can play well on the weekend and at least give myself a shot going to the back nine on Sunday.”
"I had myself in good positions to make birdies and I just didn’t do it.” - Tiger Woods
Asked to describe his round, Woods said: “Not very good. I got off to a terrible start again. I had some opportunities to make a few birdies along the way to get back to even-par for the day and I just never did. I just never made anything. I had myself in good positions to make birdies and I just didn’t do it.”
Whilst Woods might feel his putting was the issue, the facts suggest his driver was far more culpable. He played the holes where he used it in a combined six-over-par.
“I was trying to be a bit more aggressive,” he said by way of explaining his regular use of the biggest club in his bag. “With the wind the way it was, I could take some of the bunkers out of play and get it down with a sand wedge into the greens. Even though it was in the rough, I still had sand wedge.
“Angel was doing that yesterday and did it quite effectively with a different wind, a more difficult wind. I figured today would be a chance to go out there and be aggressive and do that, take some of these bunkers out of play. I just didn’t drive it well.”
Tiger Woods’ rollercoaster round
The 77 shot by Tiger Woods ties his second worst career score in a major as a professional. It was also only the second time he made a double-bogey and a triple in the same round in a major, the other being the first round of the 2000 Masters Tournament. (Via @JustinRayGC)