Tiger Makes the Cut on the Number

By Sports NetworkAugust 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PGA ChampionshipSPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- For the second consecutive year, Tiger Woods needed a strong back nine in the second round to make the 36-hole cut at the PGA Championship.
On Friday, Woods, a 10-time major winner including two PGA titles, two-putted the 18th green for a birdie to shoot a 1-under 69 and make the cut on the number at 4-over-par 144.
'You've got to stay patient, stay in the moment and keep grinding,' said Woods, who posted a 3-under 33 on the back nine Friday. 'You never know what can happen, and it turned out well.'
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods and caddie Steve Williams celebrate a birdie at the 18th that enabled Woods to make it to the weekend.
In the majors, Woods made every cut as a professional, dating back to his 1997 Masters victory. His worst showing in major was a tie for 39th at the 2003 PGA Championship and last year he needed some late-round heroics in the second round to make the cut at Whistling Straits.
Woods birdied 16 and 17 on Friday in the 2004 PGA Championship to make the cut by a stroke. He went on to tie for 24th place, but his poor play this week comes as a shock based on his major record in 2005.
He won the Masters in a playoff over Chris DiMarco, then took second place behind Michael Campbell at the U.S. Open. Woods captured his second British Open title at St. Andrews to complete the career Grand Slam twice.
Woods saw his PGA Tour record streak of 142 consecutive cuts made come to an end at this year's Byron Nelson Championship. The last time Woods failed to make a cut before that was the 1998 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The tournament was reduced to 54 holes and due to weather problems, and the final round was pushed from early February to mid-August. He did not return for the final round, so he failed to make the cut.
The No. 1 player in the world struggled with an opening-round, 5-over 75 on Thursday. Woods looked like missing the cut would not be an option as he ran in a 5-foot birdie putt at the first, but things took a drastic turn after that.
At the second, Woods three-putted from 6 feet for a bogey. He dropped another shot at three when his drive went well left, then tallied his third bogey in a row when his tee ball splashed in water guarding the green at the fourth.
He reclaimed one of the lost strokes with a short birdie putt at six, but returned to 7-over par with a three-putt bogey at No. 8. Woods sank a 6-foot birdie putt at the 11th to get to plus-6 and within two of the projected cut line. He drained a 12-footer for birdie at the next hole to reach 5-over par.
Woods got inside the cut line of plus-4 with a 3-foot birdie putt at the 15th. He made a routine two-putt par at the 16th and had Baltusrol's back- to-back, par-5 closing holes to finish.
He hit a massive, 354-yard drive on the 650-yard 17th and tried to reach the green in two, which would have made him only the third player to ever do it in a competitive round.
Instead his ball kicked left of the putting surface into a bunker, leaving him in the back of the trap on a downslope. Woods was visibly angry at the bad bounce and aimed sideways with his third shot, blasting into the rough. He pitched his fourth 10 feet past the hole, where he missed the par putt on the left edge.
Now he needed a birdie at the par-5 closing hole to make the cut. Woods smashed a drive down the 18th fairway and knocked a 7-iron 12 feet right of the hole. He lagged his putt to tap-in range and made the cut.
'I didn't know what the number was to be honest with you until 18,' said Woods. 'Stevie told me I needed to make birdie on the last hole. I said, 'all right, I can do that.''
Woods is 12 strokes off of Phil Mickelson's lead, but does hold a sliver of hope to pick up his third major of 2005.
'I need to shoot something that gets me into red figures for the tournament after day's end tomorrow, somehow,' said Woods. 'I need to shoot a great round tomorrow and hopefully I can do it.'
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