SAN DIEGO – After grinding out an even-par 72 on the South Course Thursday, Tiger Woods knew that he needed to go low Friday on the North Course in order to contend this weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Unfortunately for the world’s top-ranked player, all of the birdies in his group went to Jordan Spieth.
While Spieth surged up the leaderboard with a 9-under 63, Woods failed to capitalize on most of his opportunities Friday, carding a 1-under 71 that felt much higher. He recorded only two birdies on the day, while his string of 11 consecutive pars during the back half of his round was interrupted by a sloppy three-putt bogey at No. 9, his final hole of the day.
After going 0-for-4 on the par 5s Thursday, Woods once again struggled mightily on the longest holes at Torrey Pines. Despite all four holes being reachable in two shots at the North Course, Woods played them in 1 over Friday, including three-putts at both the ninth and 18th holes.
At 1-under 143, Woods now heads into the weekend well back in the pack and nine shots behind Spieth, with whom he played the first two rounds. Should he capture an eighth Farmers title this week – and win at Torrey Pines for the ninth time in his professional career – he’ll need an even greater comeback than the one he mustered in 1999, when he moved from 36th to the top of the leaderboard behind a Saturday 62.