This article answers the biggest question fans ask at every major: “How did Tiger do?” For complete coverage of the entire Open Championship, go here.
Tiger Woods wrapped up his second round of the Open Championship at about 3 p.m. local time in Northern Ireland. It was a mostly decent round, as these things go; Woods took advantage of some unexpectedly soft scoring conditions and got as low as -3 on the round, but finished the day at 1-under for a total score on the week of 6-over par.
But Woods faced two problems: first, he was already starting from behind, the victim of a self-inflicted +7 round on Thursday. Second, everybody else had the exact same scoring conditions he did, and that kept the cut line at about +1. In other words, Woods would have had to shoot the low round of the day to make the cut. And Woods wasn’t going to be shooting the low round of the day.
So even though Woods walked off the 18th green with about five hours left in the tournament’s second day, it’s all but certain he’s done for the week, and for the major season.
“It's more frustrating than anything else because this is a major championship and I love playing in these events,” Woods said after the round. “I love the atmosphere. I love just the stress of playing in a major. And unfortunately, I've only had a chance to win one of them and was able to do it. But the other three I didn't do very well.”
Do you seriously want a breakdown of Woods’ round? Short version: it was fair to middling on a day when he needed to be exceptional. Long version: he had four birdies against three bogeys, the backbreaking bogeys coming on the 17th and 18th when he absolutely needed to birdie his way into the clubhouse to give himself any chance at making the weekend. He’d worked his way down to +4 as of the 11th hole, and there was an outside chance he could make a run, but ... no.
You never want to say that missing a cut is a good thing, but for Woods, that might be the case. It’s clear that he’s nowhere near his best in less-than-optimum weather, and this week was blustery and chilly in Northern Ireland. His two wins in the last year have come in the Georgia heat, and he’s struggled at any latitude north of the Georgia-Tennessee border.
“It's just a matter of being consistent,” Woods said. “That's one of the hardest things to accept as an older athlete is that you're not going to be as consistent as you were at 23. Things are different. And I'm going to have my hot weeks. I'm going to be there in contention with a chance to win, and I will win tournaments. But there are times when I'm just not going to be there. And that wasn't the case 20-some-odd years ago. I had a different body and I was able to be a little bit more consistent.”
Woods will be back this year; he’ll prepare for the FedEx Cup playoffs that begin next month. And he’s still the fifth-ranked player in the world. But it’s clear that he only has a narrow path to success at this point in his career.
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