SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods’ first start of 2014 will be an abbreviated one.
The world No. 1 played a seven-hole stretch in 9 over par Saturday to shoot 79 – his highest score ever as a pro at Torrey Pines, by two shots – and miss the 54-hole cut for the first time in his career. When Woods finished his round, he was beating only Michael Block in the remaining 81-man field at the Farmers Insurance Open; the low 70 and ties continue Sunday.
Woods declined to speak with the media after his round.
This does not count as a missed cut in the record books, because Woods made the 36-hole cut. He has only nine career missed cuts.
On Saturday, Woods, whose eight pro wins here include the 2008 U.S. Open, hit only six fairways, seven greens and required 29 putts. He finished at 6-over 222.
In 13 prior starts in this event, Woods had only once finished outside the top 10 – a T-44, in 2011. Only three times in 53 rounds had he shot an over-par score. His previous worst round here was a second-round 77 in 2002.
Woods was actually 1 under for the day when he reached the par-5 18th, his ninth hole. He hit his second shot in the water, flew his fourth into the back bunker and walked off with a double bogey. He dropped two more shots on the first hole, after the second of three three-putts, which marked his first back-to-back double bogeys since the 2011 PGA.
After that, Woods proceeded to make five bogeys in a row before a 5-foot birdie on 7, then a chip-in par on 8. He sank a 9-foot par putt on the ninth hole to stay in the 70s.
It was his worst score since a third-round 79 at last year’s Memorial, and it matched his second-highest score ever as a pro (81, 2002 British Open).
Entering this week, Woods was 134 under par for his career on the par 5s at Torrey Pines. This week, in three rounds, he failed to record a single birdie and was a combined 4 over on the long holes.
At least Woods can now get a head start on his trip to Dubai. He is scheduled to tee it up in next week’s European Tour event, which begins Thursday.