LOS ANGELES – Inconsistency was rampant for Tiger Woods during a second-round 76 that led to a missed cut at the Genesis Open, but one particular area of struggles seemed especially surprising.
Woods’ short game was a point of strength last month at the Farmers Insurance Open, and he appeared confident on the greens during the opening round at Riviera Country Club. But his second round fell apart on the greens, particularly on the back nine Friday where he tallied three-putt bogeys on Nos. 11, 12 and 16.
Woods struggled to keep the ball in play across both days, but his 32-putt total – seven more than he needed during the opening round – was a key reason for his early exit. According to Woods, he sensed some uneasiness even on the practice green.
“I didn’t feel very good when I was warming up with my putting. The greens were fast and bumpy, and I knew that,” Woods said. “I need to miss the ball below the hole, just make sure it’s below the hole. And when the greens get this fast and this bumpy, anything above the hole is virtually luck if you make the putt. I kept missing it above the hole, and that’s what was ticking me off. I kept leaving every putt above the hole.”
Woods rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 3 and poured in a 20-footer two holes later, but he didn’t make anything over 7 feet the rest of the way and missed three times for par from inside that same distance.
Woods entered the day at 1 over, and he told reporters that’s where he expected the 36-hole cut line to fall. He got to even par for the tournament with his birdie on No. 5, but followed that with three straight bogeys and never again got close to reaching red figures.
“I thought I had a chance. I birdied 10 (to get to 2 over), I was right there,” Woods said. “I didn’t play very well on that back nine, and the feeling of not feeling very good over my putts finally caught up with me.”