By Chris Dazen
Dublin, Ohio — Tiger Woods has always had a flair for the dramatic and on Friday, it was no different.
No, Woods is not in close contention at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance as he shot a 2-under-par 70 on the day and made the cut at 1-under overall. The drama from Woods was self-made as he needed to par the 18th hole to make his 15th consecutive cut at the Memorial Tournament.
Woods carded a front nine three-under par 33, showing a strong short game at the start of the second round to get himself within position to make the cut. All of his hard work almost came undone with back-to-back bogeys on the par-3 16th and the par-4 17th.
Woods’ second round went very right, and we are talking about his drives, not so much his game. Woods hit four of 14 fairways, six of those shots all headed right into the rough, a few times into the mob of fans.
“Obviously displeased with the way I drove it,” Woods said. “I didn’t drive it very good again. I kept spinning the ball. I have to go fix that.”
Woods is second-to-last in the tournament with fairways hit, hitting nine out of a total 28 fairways through two rounds. His approach game has not been much better hitting 17 of a possible 36 greens in regulation.
The saving grace of Woods’ round was his putting. For as bad as Woods has been off the tee, his short game has been the exact opposite. Woods only needed 24 putts to finish his round.
“The putting was great today. I had a great feel for the pace. Even the putts I missed had that kind of ‘go in’ look, and they were right around the hole,” said Woods.
While Woods knows his putting was his reason for making cut, he knows he has to get better fast.
“I feel like I made some progress from yesterday,” Woods said referring to his 1-over 73 on Thursday. “Now I need to go work on it again and I’ll make some progress tomorrow and keep doing that and hopefully it will all come together this weekend.”
Woods can credit a little bit of luck to his game as well because he had a few shots that could have changed his entire round and his momentum from possibly missing that cut line. On the fifth hole, Woods’ second shot went off a tree and narrowly missed heading in to a mid-fairway creek.
“I had a terrible lie there and I took a six iron, it was only 80 yards to carry, and I didn’t know if I could carry it because the lie was so bad,” said Woods. “I figured I would just take a chance, I opened it way up. I chopped on it to try and get some kind of ball that would squirt up and it didn’t. I didn’t even get to the golf ball, I just smothered it and for it to one hop was very, very lucky. It should be wet.”
Woods, a former five time winner of this Tournament, has no business being in contention as he sits 11 shots back of current leader David Lingmerth. The crowds will still show up for Tiger, but it will be because of the name, not his position on the leaderboard.
This is only Woods’ fifth tournament of the season and he acknowledged that he is grinding over puts more now to make the cut, more so than he is setting himself up to win. He feels there is only one way to remedy that and improve on his game.
“Play more tournaments” Woods said. “I need to put myself in position where those puts are to win tournaments, not make cuts.”
Woods will be partnered with Zac Blair and tees off at 8:28 a.m. for round three.