SAN MARTIN, Calif. – If Thursday was one of the worst putting rounds of Tiger Woods' life, his second round at the Frys.com Open was almost assured to be an improvement. It was, even though Woods officially needed two more putts than he did in his first trip around CordeValle.
Woods complained after his 2-over 73 on Thursday about his inability to read the greens, putt to their speed compared to the surfaces at home and the nearby Institute and the lack of practice at home with the flat stick. Though no panacea, Woods said a simple modification he made Thursday evening helped him Friday.
'I added two strips of lead on the bottom of it to add a little more weight to get the ball to the hole and fixed my posture again a little bit on the putter. When I did that, I was able to see the line,' he said.
Woods did not miss a putt inside six feet on Friday, whereas he missed a critical trio of them in his first round. Woods left two fairly close ones for birdie out of the hole, however, clipping the cup from nine feet at the 17th hole and seven feet at his second-to-last hole, the eighth.
Woods also did something on Friday he was not even close to doing the day prior – he made a putt greater than 20 feet. The bomb Woods made at the par-4 14th hole doubled as a great bounce back from an uninspiring bogey the hole previous and a catalyst for a three-hole stretch of birdies that used to seem commonplace.
By comparison, the 24-footer he made on his fifth hole Friday was twice as long as the lengthiest putt he drained yesterday.
The lone glaring miss for Woods was at the shortest hole on the track – the par-3 seventh hole. He hit his approach putt some 10 feet past the pin. But he made his par putt to stay two strokes shy of the cut line.
Of course, feel with the putter has been fleeting for Woods this season. At the Masters, it came and went in a space of seven holes between the sixth and 12th at Augusta National. For Woods, any space longer than that without having to question the putter is a win.