The 2001 PGA champ was in the lead, but finished double bogey-triple bogey in the second round Friday to drop him all the way down to a tie for 17th after a 2-over 72. Perhaps most distressing, Toms has a host of world-class players between him and the top spot, including Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Lee Westwood, Adam Scott and Tiger Woods.
Toms is at 2-over 142 for the tournament.
'I played really well for the last couple days. I just had two bad holes,' he said as he headed to the parking lot. 'Certainly, I'm disappointed with the way I finished up, but there's a lot of positives. I shot even-par yesterday with absolutely getting nothing to happen out of my game, and today I played great. I just didn't finish up very well.'
At one point, Toms was all alone at 4-under, cruising along with a straight driver and solid iron shots. Then came the double at No. 8 - his 17th hole - and he went to the tee at the par-3 9th one shot behind.
He was the third to hit in his group and got a good read on the shot but came up short in the bunker. With his ball close to the lip, he didn't catch enough sand on his explosion and sent the ball over the back of the green. Then his pitch didn't have enough steam to make it up the slope, and it rolled back down to his feet.
Yet he never lost his patience, concentrating on each shot and eventually making a 6.
'What I did on 8 didn't have anything to do with what I did on 9,' Toms said. 'I took my time on my bunker shot, went up there, regrouped, went over the green and tried to hit the best shot I could there. It was just in a tough spot. I regrouped before I hit the second one, and I made a nice, solid triple bogey.'
Toms was able to joke about his struggles, since most everyone else endured problems of their own. Despite cooler conditions at the start of play, the wind picked up and the rock-hard fairways continued to kick what looked like perfect drives into the thick Bermuda rough.
From there, simply getting the ball near the green was a problem. Toms did it better than most for 16 holes, only to lose it all in the final two.
'It's just hard,' said Rocco Mediate, the first-round co-leader who fought his own demons during a 74. 'You've just got to figure out a way to get in.'
If Toms could have done that, he might still be leading.
'I should have just tried to chunk it out of the bunker. I was too aggressive,' he said. 'Looking back, I should have just gotten it out of there and got my bogey and got out of town.'
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