ATLANTA – Tiger Woods’ round on Friday at East Lake seemed to turn on one hole, the 454-yard, par-4 14th hole where he made a double-bogey 6 to begin an inexplicable back-nine slide.
Charging at 5 under for the day and 2 under for the week, Woods was tied for eighth when his tee shot at the 14th sailed into the trees left of the fairway, clipped a branch and caromed farther left.
From 176 yards, with trees between him and the putting surface, Woods had few options and a poor lie.
“If I was going to go to the right, I couldn't curve it, and I couldn't hold it in the fairway if I went to the right on a pitch out,” said Woods, who carded a 1-over 71 and was tied for last place when he left the course. “So I thought I could hit a hard enough cut where I could get it in the front bunker on the left.”
Woods’ second shot traveled only 97 yards.
“From there, it just got worse on the hole,” he said.
His third shot dropped short into a bunker left of the green and he blasted to 13 feet for a two-putt double. He would play the rest of the way in 4 over par.