HOYLAKE, England – Not sure where to begin with Tiger Woods.
Early in the week, he declared himself healthy and ready to resume his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ major championship record. Woods shot a spiffy 69 in the opening round of the British Open to make many around these parts believe he would be able to contend only four months after back surgery.
Since that day, nothing has gone right for Woods. Nothing.
After a 77 on Friday that included a birdie on the last hole just to make the cut, Woods shot a 73 on Saturday that included five birdies, a bogey, a double bogey and a triple bogey. For Woods, this is now the 17th straight weekend round at a major without a score in the 60s.
“Made a lot of mistakes,” Woods said. “On top of that I missed a lot of shots for opportunities for birdies and consequently I’m 3 over par.”
To be fair, Saturday’s round was much better than Friday's. Still, Woods made two costly mistakes that prevented his score from being better.
On the par-4 second hole Woods’ drive found a pot bunker. He blasted out into the fairway, then a wedge shot spun back off the front of the green. He used putter to get to 4 feet but missed the putt and made double bogey. In three days, Woods is 4 over par on the second.
At the par-4 seventh hole Woods blew his drive right into a nasty gorse bush. They couldn’t find his ball, so he trotted back to the tee to hit another shot, but this time it sailed left. He hacked short of the green, hit the next onto the green and two-putted from 40 feet for triple bogey.
Thankfully for Woods, his five birdies on a day where he was out of contention kept the score respectable.
“I’m starting to get the flow of the round, the flow of playing again,” he said. “But still I’ve just made too many mistakes. You can’t run up high scores like that and expect to contend, especially when the conditions are this benign.”
Woods is 3 over par for the championship and tied for 58th place, 19 shots behind leader Rory McIlroy.