A day after shooting a season-best 62, Tiger Woods struggled with his putting en route to an even-par 70 in Round 2 at the BMW Championship.
A day after shooting 62 and looking like the Tiger of old with his Scotty Cameron putter back in his bag, Woods's round on Friday reminded us just how difficult it is to follow up a season-best round with another low one.
Woods needed 33 putts at Aronimink on Friday—the longest one he made all day was a six-footer for par on the first hole, and he ranked dead last in the field in strokes gained putting (-3.5)—en route to an even-par 70 in the second round of the penultimate FedEx Cup playoff event, the BMW Championship. Woods will enter the weekend in a tie for 11th and five back of Xander Schauffele, who has a two-shot lead after firing rounds of 63-64 in a last-ditch effort to convince Jim Furyk he's worthy of the fourth and final Ryder Cup captain's pick.
Tee times were moved up significantly in antiticipation of forecasted storms, and Woods couldn't manage to get off to the red-hot start that saw him make the turn in six-under 29 on Thursday. He was one over through 8 before birdieing two of the next three holes to get to one under for the day and nine under for the tournament. Woods made his third birdie of the day on the par-5 16th after hitting a fairway wood from a divot in the fairway onto the green with his second, but finished with back-to-back bogeys—including a three-putt on 18—to increase his deficit to Schauffele.
Aronimink played easy for the second consecutive day—the scoring average on Friday was more than two shots under par—and Woods struck it well enough to shoot a number in that range. He hit 11 of 14 fairways, 14 of 28 greens but struggled with both his speed and lines on the greens. Woods is using his the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 model that brought him 13 of his 14 majors for the first time since the U.S. Open. He used a Taylormade mallet putter from the Quicken Loans through the Northern Trust, then used a Taylormade mallet that looks similar to the Scotty at last week's Dell Technologies Championship.
Woods entered the week 25th in the FedEx Cup points standings, meaning he needed to put forward a solid week to remain in the top 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship for the first time since 2013. Woods, who along with Bryson Dechambeau and Phil Mickelson was named as a Ryder Cup captain's pick on Tuesday, remains in good position to achieve that goal but will have to play catch-up in his quest for his 80th PGA Tour win and first since 2013.