DORAL, Fla. – Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before: Tiger Woods’ round could’ve been much better.
With the exception of the final-round 62 last week at the Honda Classic – which definitely could NOT have been better – Woods just hasn’t been able to get maximum value out of his rounds.
A second-round 67 Friday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship was good, but it was only three shots better than the day’s scoring average. Woods began the day six shots behind leader Adam Scott and ended the day tied for 15th place, seven shots behind leader Bubba Watson, who blistered Doral to the tune of 10-under 62.
“It certainly could be had,” Woods said. “You drive the ball well on most of the holes you’re going to have some short irons in there and you can take advantage of it.”
Although Woods left a couple out there the round also was stress free. There never was a time when he was in danger of making bogey. On his first nine holes – which began on No. 10 – he only missed one fairway and two greens, although both of his missed greens were inches off the green, barely onto the fringe. He made birdie on both pars 5s (10 and 12) and made the turn at 2 under.
Woods caught fire at the beginning of his second nine holes with birdies on Nos. 1, 4 and 5, but the birdie train ended there.
The second nine was not as tidy as the first even though it produced one more birdie. Woods only hit three fairways in that stretch and failed to make birdie on easier holes like No. 7 and the par-5 eighth hole, which Watson eagled moments earlier.
Failure to go lower was a combination of iron play – even though he hit 14 greens, many of them were not in makeable birdie range – and putting. When Woods did have makeable birdie putts he failed to make them, although the misses were not as ghastly as they have been over the past month; most looked like good strokes.
“I hit pure putts, I hit them right on my line and they were just lipping out,” Woods said. “I just have to be committed to what I’m doing and continue rolling it, because I’m hitting the putts on what I’m reading and what I’m seeing, and unfortunately they are just lipping out.
“This is the highest score I could have shot today for sure. It could have been pretty low.”
Woods will be paired with Steve Stricker in Round 3. They tee off at 12:25 p.m. ET.