Tiger Woods struggled with his putting en route to a two-over 73, but made his first birdie of the day on his last hole to likely make the cut.
After he struggled with the flat stick while shooting an even-par 71 on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Championship, Tiger Woods' putting woes only worsened on Friday at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.
Woods missed five putts inside eight feet on Friday and did not make a birdie until his last hole of the day en route to a two-over 73. But what a crucial birdie it was, as the cut looks like it will be two-over at the highest, meaning Woods' clutch putt on 9 likely earned him a spot on the weekend.
Tiger finished the round with a strokes gained putting total of -2.92, his worst statistical putting round on Tour since 2012. And by making birdie at the last, he avoided putting forth just his sixth birdie-free round in 894 stroke-play, non-major rounds on the PGA Tour.
Entering today, Tiger had played 893 stroke play, non-major rounds on the PGA Tour as a pro. He has gone without a birdie in only 5 of them. No birdies today so far.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) May 4, 2018
Below is a hole-by-hole summary of Woods' frustrating day.
After rocking a pink shirt on Thursday, Tiger's going with the white shirt/gray pants combo on this early Friday morning.
Hole 10- Par 5: Par, E for day, E for tournament
Tiger's drive went 330 yards but found the right rough and drew a less-than ideal line. Still, he pulled a three wood and went for the green in two, finding a bunker left of the green. His long bunker shot (about 40 yards) flew past the hole then spun back to about 12 feet. His birdie effort was right the hole way, leaving a solid four feet for his par. He knocked the par putt right in the middle of the cup.
For the second straight day, Tiger failed to take advantage of this hole, which is one of just three par 5s at Quail Hollow this week. It wasn't as bad as yesterday though, when he needed four shots from 120 yards and made a momentum-killing bogey.
Hole 11- Par 4: Bogey, +1 for day, +1 for tournament
After watching playing partners Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed miss the fairway with driver, Tiger pulled three wood and peeled a nice tee ball that rolled out to 302 yards right in the middle of the fairway. He hit a high draw with a wedge for his approach that landed just right of the flag but spun hard and took the false front, finishing well short of the green. He hit a decent chip to eight feet, leaving a right-to-left par putt. His par effort never scared the hole, and it's a 5-5 start.
Still early, but definitely less than ideal to make bogey from the middle of the fairway with a wedge in your hand. Tiger looks a bit frustrated as he's failed to take advantage of some solid ball striking and is now seven back and just one below the early cut line.
Hole 12- Par 4: Par, +1 for day, +! for tournament
Another missed opportunity.
Tiger hit a stinger down the center of the fairway that rolled all the way out to 299 yards. From 168 yards, with wind helping to a back pin, Tiger beautifully judged the distance on a short iron and left himself just over six feet for birdie.
Again, the short putting fails him. His birdie putt was a solid foot short of the hole and never looked close to having a chance. It's another par and another miss from inside ten feet.
Hole 13- Par 3: Par, +1 for day, +1 for tournament
Stop me if you've heard this story pattern before.
On the par-3 13th, a hole that measures about 210 yards today, Tiger hit a beautiful approach that never left the flag, leaving himself just under 12 feet for his birdie. Again, his effort didn't fall, and it's another par.
He's hit the ball really, really solid so far today, and really so far this tournament, particularly with this new set of Taylormade irons. But as is the case often in golf, when one part of your game is working, other aspects fall by the wayside. So far this week, the aspect that's fallen has been the putting. That'll almost always cause issues, and that's exactly what's happened in Charlotte through 22 holes.
Hole 14- Par 4: Bogey, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
The cut watch is officially on.
Tiger pulled three wood off the tee and found the right bunker, leaving a difficult approach into a green with water off to the left. He hit a solid fairway bunker shot to the front right of the green, understandably staying away from the back-left pin. He under-read his right-to-left lag putt and left himself just under seven feet for par. Again, he didn't give it enough speed and the putt broke hard to the left just before the hole.
He is now one over the early projected cut line, and there is only one club to blame for that: his putter.
Hole 15- Par 5: Par, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
Tiger is running out of time to turn this around, and running out of scoring opportunities.
His drive on 15 found the middle of the fairway and left about 250 yards to the par 5's green. Off a slight downslope from 259 yards, he tried to hit a cut off the left bunker, but the ball didn't turn and found that bunker. Still, it looked like a pretty straightforward bunker shot and a good birdie opportunity.
He hit a ghastly bunker shot—a borderline chunk—that left a solid 25 feet for birdie. He got this putt to the hole, finally, but it went begging on the left. Another par on a par 5, another missed opportunity to score. Up next is one of the most difficult stretches on the PGA Tour: the Green Mile (16, 17, 18) followed by the difficult opening holes at Quail Hollow.
Hole 16- Par 4: Par, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
Tiger went with the driver and hit a solid one down the left, but it rolled out into the primary cut of rough. On this difficult hole, he elected for a punch-draw approach that landed short of the green then rolled out to about 25 feet. His birdie effort slid just by on the right but was a good effort.
All things considered, a solid par, but pars have been all too familiar this tournament. Through 25 holes, Tiger has just three birdies on the week.
Hole 17- Par 3: Par, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
Tiger fanned a six-iron short and right of the green, which will be a popular spot today given the left pin placement and the water that hugs the left side of the green. That left a tricky little pitch, which he made look easy. Tap-in par and he'll head to the last hole of the Green Mile.
Hole 18- Par 4: Par, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
That hole must look prettttty small for Tiger right now.
After a perfect three wood found the fairway on this difficult driving hole, Tiger hit an approach from 170 yards to about eight feet directly below the hole. Truly a simple putt: just inside right up the hill, the type of putt you make ten times in a row in practice. Tiger's effort was left the hole way—looked like he putt a little hook spin on it—and did not even scare the hole.
Tiger makes the turn in two-over 38 and did not make a birdie on his opening nine. He has just three birdies in 27 holes and has missed three putts inside 10 feet today.
Hole 1- Par 4: Par, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
Nice up-and-down to keep Tiger on the cut line.
His drive missed just right of the fairway, and his approach flew onto the green but didn't have any spin and bounced over to the left. That left a delicate pitch, and he hit a decent one that rolled out to five feet right below the hole. A solid stroke right into the center = par.
Hole 2- Par 4: Par, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
Another ho-hum par. Tiger hit his patented stinger, which is most certainly back in his arsenal after years of going missing, down the center. He then hit a bit of a pull that missed the green just barely to the left but finished on the fringe. His lag wasn't the best, leaving about a five-footer that broke from left to right, but he brushed it in without incident.
Hole 3- Par 4: Par, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
That's now seven pars in a row for Tiger, though this one was a little less conventional in nature.
He tugged a driver that landed left of the fairway and kicked even further left, finishing just left of the cart path amid tree troubles. He hit a shot under one tree limb, then over another all while fading considerably and did well to get it just short of the green. His pitch rolled out to about five feet above the cup, but he knocked in his third straight short par effort to stay on the cut line.
Hole 4- Par 3: Par, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
Say what you want about Tiger Woods, but the man does not give up. He's grinding in the truest sense of the word today and just made his eighth par in a row to stay at +2.
His tee shot on the mid-length par 3 was a bit of a push out to the right. His putt, down a ridge, was well-judged for speed but missed about three feet to the right. Another solid stroke saw his putt drop right in the middle of the hole.
Hole 5- Par 4: Par, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
About as ho-hum as a par can be. Tiger striped his tee shot and found another fairway, then hit a solid iron approach to about 30 feet. He got a read on the putt from Patrick Reed then hit a really good effort that was tracking the whole way before running out of speed. That left a tap-in for his par 4.
Hole 6- Par 3: Bogey, +3 for day, +3 for tournament
Tiger hit a beautiful iron shot to about 15 feet on this 220-yard hole, then once again came nowhere near the hole on his birdie attempt. Again, it missed badly on the left—he's got the pulls today. But this time, he wasn't able to make his par putt despite it being about four feet directly up hill. The par putt missed, you guessed it, on the left.
Tiger is now outside the cut line, which is beginning to look like it might finish at +2. He has a virtual must-birdie situation at the next hole, a par 5.
Hole 7- Par 5: Par, +3 for day, +3 for tournament
Another short miss!
Tiger needed to make birdie on this par 5 in order to get back inside the cut line, a proposition that would have been much easier had he found the fairway on this reachable hole. He didn't, pulling his drive into the left bunker, but laid up to a nice yardage. His approach was well-played, landing past the pin then spinning back and taking a slope, finishing about six feet below the hole. Again, another routine putt that a professional golfer should expect to make roughly 80% of the time. Tiger's missed on the left once again.
His putting has been nothing short of atrocious this week, and virtually all of the misses have been left. He'll need a late birdie or two to play the weekend, and he has his putter to blame.
Hole 8- Par 4: Par, +3 for day, +3 for tournament
The man just can't buy one.
Tiger decided to give the driver a lash on this short par 4 and hit a beautify that finished in the neck just short of the green. He faced a pretty straightforward pitch from about 45 yards and hit a bad one, leaving it about 25 feet short. He gave his birdie effort a good run but it broke right just before the hole, and he'll need to birdie 9—which would be his first birdie of the day—to have a chance of playing the weekend.
Hole 9- Par 4: Birdie, +2 for day, +2 for tournament
What do you know, a birdie at the last! When he needed it most, Tiger came through with his first birdie of the day.
Tiger dripped a driver that found the center of the fairway (he's driven it quite well these first two days) and rolled all the way out to 342 yards. He hit yet another good iron shot, finishing perfectly pin high and leaving a 13-foot, left-to-right putt. He knew he had to make it to give himself a chance at the weekend, and it went in dead center. A nice finish to what was, all in all a lousy day.