ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Tiger Woods slapped it around the Old Course for the better part of three days. Sure, he made it to the weekend in the Open Championship, but only because of weather delays.
Woods now has missed the cut in consecutive majors for the first time. This also marks the first time he’s recorded three missed cuts on the PGA Tour in a season as a professional. He missed only five cuts on Tour from 1997-2009.
Over 36 holes on a benign Old Course, a place Woods made his own personal playground with victories in 2000 and 2005, he collected only three birdies and made 10 bogeys. Woods shot 76-75 for a 7-over-par total and tied for 147th place. He missed the cut by seven shots.
“I hit the ball solid, it’s just that it wasn’t getting through the wind,” Woods said in a comment that left some scratching their collective heads. “I don’t know what was causing that, and it’s something that we’re going to have to take a look at.”
Dustin Johnson didn’t seem to have a problem with hitting the ball through the wind. He leads at 10 under. Neither did Woods’ playing partners Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen, who are both three shots off the lead.
Woods completed 12 holes of his second round on Friday and was well off the cut line when he returned on Saturday. When play finally resumed in the afternoon after a 10-plus-hour wind delay, Woods promptly made three consecutive bogeys. He made birdie on the 16th and appeared to have another one in the bag on the home hole, but he failed to get up and down from just in front of the green.
“I’m just not scoring,” he said. “Every opportunity I have to make a key putt or hit an iron shot in there stiff with a short iron and get some momentum going. I haven’t done that.”
After poor performances at the Memorial and the U.S. Open it seemed like Woods made progress two weeks ago at The Greenbrier, where he tied for 32nd place. But the Old Course was not kind to the three-time Open champion as he looked as rusty, ragged and as uncomfortable as he has at any point since the Masters.
Yet as poorly as Woods is playing, he still contends that he’s looking ahead, even when others continue to wonder if and when he’ll find enough form to contend. He will fall outside the top 250 in the Official World Golf Ranking by the time he tees it up in the Quicken Loans National in two weeks.
“Hopefully win that event so I can get into a place that I know very well,” Woods said, referring to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. If not, his next appearance will be the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, a place that will eat Woods alive if he doesn’t play better than he did this week.
As for this week, it was a time of goodbyes for former Open champions Nick Faldo and Tom Watson as both played their finals Opens at the Old Course.
Woods was asked if he’ll be back to St. Andrews the next time the Open returns, which will likely be in 2021 when the championship celebrates its 150th anniversary.
“I’ll probably have less hair then,” he quipped, “and hopefully a little better game.”