Jan 25 (Reuters) - Defending champion Tiger Woods plunged to new depths when he missed a secondary cut on the PGA Tour for the first time after struggling badly in Saturday's third round of the Farmers Insurance Open outside San Diego.
Though he made the second-round cut by a stroke on Friday after carding a one-under-par 71 on the easier North Course, the world number one was badly out of sorts on a difficult day for scoring as he laboured to a 79 on the brutal South layout.
It was his worst ever score at the event, which he has won a record seven times, and ensured that he would miss the third-round cut for the leading 70 players and ties, giving him the unwanted label of 'MDF' (made cut, did not finish).
Woods, who won last year's Farmers Insurance Open by four shots in a fog-delayed Monday finish, endured a damaging run of double, double, bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey from the 18th, his ninth hole, to finish at six-over-par 222.
That stumbling stretch ended with a welcome birdie at the par-four seventh, where he good naturedly removed his cap and bowed to the crowd, before he closed with pars at the eighth and ninth.
Woods chunked his chip from in front of the green at the par-five ninth, his ball ending up 10 feet short of the hole, but he sank the par putt to avoid shooting his first score of 80 or worse in the United States as a professional. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles, Editing by Larry Fine)