Woods shot 2-over 73 at CordeValle, leaving himself a 6-shot deficit going into cut day at the Frys.com Open.
The culprit was Woods' putting inside six feet. He missed three critical putts in the round that would have put him under par on the day – a 3-foot par putt at the par-3 third hole and birdie putts inside six feet at the par-5 ninth and par-3 11th holes. After his ball circled the entire perimeter of the cup at the 16th hole, it fortunately dropped for a crucial par.
Woods took 27 putts on Thursday and several more strokes from just off the green that didn't count as official putts, including a 30-foot putt at the par-4 sixth which was indicative of his day. Woods consistently misjudged the speed on the CordeValle greens.
Woods said he tried to make in-round modifications, but it only made the problem worse.
'I just had a hard time hitting my stroke, and then I started altering it,' he said. 'And it was all over the place. I think I'm going to go put some lead tape on it and see if maybe a little bit more mass (might help).'
If this is the fine tuning Woods described Wednesday, he may need a new antenna.
The world No. 51 cited multiple excuses for the struggle on the greens, ranging from not playing competitively, to not practicing putting enough compared to other facets of the game, to not grasping this particular grass type compared to his Florida home club, to blaming the speed of putts he experienced in a corporate outing at the nearby Institute club on Tuesday.
'I've putted a lot, but not on greens that are at this speed. The greens back home are a little bit faster than this,' he said.
He added, 'I hadn't putted on greens at this speed, and I played over at the Institute the other day, and they were really quick. ... The rain this morning and then the rain we had while we were playing just kept slowing them up.'
Despite the putting woes, Woods said the other aspects of his game were in decent shape.
'The rest of the game was not too bad. I hit some bad shots, yes, but I also hit some really good ones.'
He continues, however, to have posture problems as he dips his body into full-bore swings. Woods hit just seven of 14 fairways on the day – five of those coming in the dozen tee shots he hit with the driver. Even compared to Woods' errant driving history, 41.67 percent of fairways is low and will not cut it on a course saturated by rain.
Woods is hopeful to work out some of the kinks before his second trip around CordeValle on Friday morning.
'It's about going out there and playing, and right now I'm six back. I need to put together a good round tomorrow and gradually piece my way back into the tournament.'