Barring what would be a comeback for the ages, you can assume that Tiger Woods’ record-breaking 83rd PGA Tour victory won’t come this weekend in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.
A player whose iron shots are usually impeccable stumbled to a two-over-par 73 in Friday’s second round, a casualty of a pair of wedge shots that went astray.
At even par, Woods made the cut by one shot and would need to make up nine shots and leapfrog 34 players in the next two rounds. Do not wager on that.
“I made some bad mistakes out there,” he said. “I had a wedge in my hand at 15 and made double there, sand wedge on three and made bogey there. Three runaway shots with wedges, something I rarely ever do.”
On the par-four 15th, his sixth hole of the day, he had 144 yards to the pin from the fairway, plunked a wedge into an almost impossible lie in the front bunker and wound up with a double bogey.
On No. 3, he hit another wedge into a greenside bunker and couldn’t convert an eight-foot par putt.
He added bogeys on two of the next three holes.
“I was not sharp today,” said Woods, who played in front of a large gallery that expanded throughout his round, despite his troubles. “I just could not get the ball close enough to the hole to give myself good putts. And when I did, I was in the wrong spots, I was above the hole and had to putt pretty defensively.”
Woods is playing this tournament for the 14th time, still looking for his first victory in this event. Last year, he made an early charge in the rain-delayed third round, and was hoping that he might be able to duplicate that again Saturday when he tees off early on No. 10.
“Hopefully I can get off to a quick start like I did last year and go birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie or something like that tomorrow.”
The next time your opponent asks you to give him a three-foot putt, consider Aaron Baddeley. He looked over a three-footer on the 18th hole in the second round, made his stroke and the ball caught the left edge of the cup and spun out. The bogey wrapped up a two-over 73 and left him one shot over the cut line and without a paycheck for the week.
Nine major championship winners failed to make the cut: Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas, Danny Willett, Keegan Bradley, Francesco Molinari, Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker and Jason Day.