DUBLIN, Ohio – This wasn’t exactly what Tiger Woods expected. Not after winning his last start, The Players, with a ballstriking show; and collecting four titles before he arrived at Jack’s Place.
The world No. 1 entered the week seemingly destined to win his sixth Memorial tilt, but those plans were derailed early in Round 2 when he bogeyed the 13th hole and made a mess of the par-5 15th for the second consecutive day.
Remember when Woods used to own the par 5s? This week at Muirfield Village he appears to be on a short-term lease on the par 5s.
From the middle of the 15th fairway, Woods’ second shot sailed left of the green, he chipped through the putting surface and three-putted from 5 feet for a double-bogey 7.
“I had a gust get me there at 15,” Woods said of his second shot. “A couple of others that were missed by a yard here, a yard there. A golf course like this you can get penalized.”
To put his par-5 play in historical context, in Woods’ five Memorial wins he was an average of 10 ½ under par on the par 5s for the week. Through two rounds this year he’s played them to a draw (even par).
The round, which was marred by a bogey at the ninth (his last hole) following a sloppy approach, added up to a 74 and a tie for 51st when he finished his day.
The baffling part for Woods is that his play from the tee – he connected with 13 of 14 fairways on Day 2 – has been solid, but he hit just 10 of 18 greens in regulation and needed 30 putts.
“All in all it was a day hard fought, and that’s all I have,” Woods said. “I’m not too disappointed with it. I’m not that far off. On a golf course like this, with the wind gusts like this, it’s tough.”
Two late birdies (Nos. 5 and 7) kept Woods inside the cut, but at 1 over – 10 shots off the lead – his quest for Memorial title No. 6 may have ended early Friday.