ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the par-4 sixth hole Friday at the Old Course and took a mighty lash with driver in hand. The ball flew right and five marshals went rushing to find it.
The good news was that they did find the ball. The bad news was that it was lying inside a gorse bush.
Woods had already made a bogey on the fourth hole but at the exact moment his ball found the infamous gorse on the sixth, his week at the Open Championship was over.
After an opening-round 76, Woods already had work to do to qualify for the weekend. The ragged start in the second round put him well off the pace on a windy afternoon and his demeanor looked as if he was ready to go home.
Three holes later, when Woods completed the ninth hole he had not recorded a single birdie on the first nine holes in either the first or second round. The first nine played the easiest for both rounds. Dustin Johnson made six birdies and an eagle in two days. Hideki Matsuyama made six birdies on the first nine holes on Friday. Woods made a goose egg.
The task now? Return early Saturday morning to complete six holes. Woods and playing partners Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen each marked their ball on the 12th green Friday when play was suspended because of darkness. Woods is at 5 over par total and tied for 129th place. The projected cut is even par.
This will mark the first time Woods has missed the cut in consecutive majors and the first time that he’s missed three cuts on the PGA Tour in a season as a professional. This will be his fifth missed cut in the last two seasons on Tour. Woods missed only five cuts on Tour from 1997-2009.
After Woods completes his second round on Saturday he will fly back to the States with as many questions as ever before. After miserable starts at the Memorial and the U.S. Open, Woods seemingly made progress with his game two weeks ago at The Greenbrier and tied for 32nd place. The Old Course was supposed to give him an added pep in his step because he’s won two claret jugs here, but he looked rusty and ragged from the opening hole.
His next start is scheduled to be the Quicken Loans National in two weeks. Two weeks later the PGA Championship is at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.