There was a time when Tiger Woods spent every tournament dancing along the top of the leaderboard. Now, he spent much of the day dancing along the edge of the cut line.
At the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, Woods’ first full-field tournament in nearly a year, the 14-time major winner spent most of Friday trying to recover from an early double-bogey. He finished the day carding a 1-under 71 to leave him also at 1-under, just good enough to stay above cut line and, once the day’s final scores came in, officially playing on into the weekend.
It’s the first cut Woods has made since the Wyndham Championship in August 2015.
The cut line stood at that same 1-under for most of the afternoon, and Woods spent a good portion of that afternoon sitting three strokes behind it. Woods had carded an even-par 72 on Thursday, an unspectacular round notable mainly because very little went wrong.
That streak lasted until the the fourth hole Woods played on Friday, the par-4 13th at Torrey Pines’ North Course. Woods double-bogeyed the hole, the only non-par mark on his front nine, leaving him at +2 at the turn. But he began scrambling back, birdieing three of the first seven holes on his back nine to put himself right on the cut line at 16.
And then, as happens all too often with Woods in the last few years, prosperity vanished. Woods dropped his tee shot on the 220-yard par-3 8th short, then scudded his chip past the hole. Two strokes later, and he was back to even par, one stroke back of the cut. Here’s a look at Woods’ attempt at par on his 17th:
Brutal. Now need birdie on the par-5 9th hole to likely make the weekend. pic.twitter.com/7YXfbC0eyQ
— Ben Everill (@BEverillPGATOUR) January 26, 2018
That sent Woods to the final hole of the day needing a birdie to play the weekend. His tee shot drifted wide right, clearing the first row of spectators. As crowds gathered 20-deep around him, Woods put his second shot onto the green, albeit about 75 undulating feet from the pin. Needing a two-putt to make the weekend, Woods rolled his first putt to within about two feet of the cup. Ice-cold, just like the old days. He made the short putt, and walked off the green having set himself up to make the cut … which made this entire week a success for him.