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TT postscript: Erratic distance haunts Woods

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Well, that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Tiger Woods was seven shots off the lead after the first round, but it was down to four when he hit his first tee shot of the day on Friday. Five hours later Woods shot a second-round 3-over 75 at the Masters. He was well out of contention, 13 shots off the lead, and at one point he was struggling to make the cut.

Here are a few observations from Woods’ day at Augusta National:

• Everyone knows it - Tiger misses the first fairway all the time. In the first round he missed it but still made par. On Friday, however, he actually hit the fairway but made bogey. Hitting the fairway clearly is no indication of the ultimate score on the hole.

• Woods made a great par save on the par-3 fourth hole, then made a mess out of the par-4 fifth. His drive was right and his approach was horrendous, bouncing wide left and smashing into the trees. After a long search, Woods found his ball and had to take an unplayable. He dropped, found the bunker, then got up and down for a double bogey. (Read more about it here from Damon Hack.)

• For the second consecutive day Woods walked to the 12th tee box to a standing ovation and promptly hit the ball into Rae’s Creek. And for the second consecutive day he got up and down to save bogey.


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• Finally, Woods made a birdie on a par 5, doing it on both the 13th and 15th holes. So he played the first six par 5s in even, then the last two in 2 under. Problem is they were essentially offset by bogeys on Nos. 12 and 16, both par 3s on the back.

• It was bizarre to see that Woods struggled mightily with his distance control all day, hitting many iron shots past the hole and often over the back of the green. Long on 4, left on 5, long on 7, short on 9, short on 12, long on 16, etc. It was a problem he acknowledged after the round and was baffled by.

• He hit 10 of 18 greens and seven of 14 fairways and needed 28 putts to complete his round.

• Now we look forward. Tiger still hasn’t missed a cut at the Masters as a pro and his worst finish here was a 40th-place tie in 2012. His second-worst finish is a tie for 22nd place in 2004. Best guess is that he’ll play well over the weekend and finish somewhere between 22nd and 40th.