(Reuters) - Defending champion Tiger Woods was a frustrated figure after failing to take advantage of the easier of the two hosting courses in Friday's second round of the Farmers Insurance Open outside San Diego.
Despite competing at one of his favorite and most successful venues, the world number one said he was "a fraction off" his game as he carded a one-under-par 71 on the North layout to end the day a distant nine strokes off the lead.
Woods, who has won the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines a record seven times and also triumphed in the 2008 U.S. Open played there, mixed two birdies with a bogey on his final hole to post a one-under total of 143.
For a second day in a row, he failed to birdie any of the four par-fives but that was by no means the only frustrating aspect of his round, in his opinion.
"(It was) pretty much all-around," a disgruntled Woods, who had declined an interview with Golf Channel after signing his scorecard, later told reporters. "I was a yard off, a foot off all day.
"It was one of those frustrating rounds because balls were landing in the fairway, running a foot in the rough and then I couldn't be aggressive, couldn't get after some of these flags and consequently my score reflected that.
"Just one of those days where I just could not get anything going because of it, and then when I did have an opportunity to get something going, I stubbed my foot by three-putting twice out there."
Woods, who won last year's Farmers Insurance Open by four shots in a fog-delayed Monday finish, is playing his first tournament of the season but did not feel he was paying a price for a month-long break.
"I wouldn't say it's rusty," the 38-year-old American said. "It was just a fraction off and at this level and on golf courses like this, if you're just a fraction off it doesn't take much."
TOO FAR BACK?
Asked whether he was too far off the lead heading into the weekend to have a chance of winning, Woods replied: "No, I mean, I've done it before.
"If you remember '99 I went and shot 62, 65. I was on the 10th tee there and I think I was second to last off or something like that and went out, got hot and ended up beating BRB (Billy Ray Brown) on the last hole."
Woods carded scores of 68, 71, 62 and 65 to win that year's edition at Torrey Pines by two strokes.
"I'm just trying to get myself to five under," Woods said. "I thought five (after the second round) would have been a good number.
"I'm at one (under) now. Hopefully I can get off to a quick start tomorrow, get to five and then get going from there."
Woods ended the second round nine strokes behind the pacesetting Jordan Spieth, who was one of his two playing partners over the first two days at Torrey Pines.
Though Spieth had outscored him by eight shots with a sizzling 63 on Friday, Woods said he had been totally unfazed and was firmly focused on his own game.
"It's a four-day tournament, today's not the last day and it's over and done with," Woods added. "I'm trying to put myself in position up there. We've still got a long way to go."
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)