No progress for Tiger with round of 72
A frustrating U.S. Masters second round of missed opportunities for Tiger Woods ended when he lipped out with an eight-foot putt for par at the last on Friday.
The world number one, a four-times champion at Augusta National who is seeking his 15th major title, had to settle for a level-par 72 to lie seven strokes off the lead.
“I didn’t get a whole lot out of my round,” the 33-year-old American told reporters after posting a two-under total of 142 in tricky, swirling winds. “Conditions were tough.
“It was just tough all round. Not only is it blowing but it’s also changing … so you can go through pretty much a three-club swing (difference).”
Competing in his first major since his remarkable playoff victory at the U.S. Open in June, Woods failed to build momentum after starting the round five strokes off the pace.
He offset two birdies with two bogeys to reach the turn in even-par 36 before getting to three under with another birdie at the par-five 15th.
Frequently backing off shots as strong gusts blew through the pine trees, Woods found a greenside bunker with his approach at the par-four 18th and failed to get up and down.
“A lot of wasted opportunities today,” said Woods, who was sidelined for eight months after reconstructive knee surgery in June.
“I’ve got to play a little bit better than I have, make a few more putts and clean up my round. I made a few more putts today but still didn’t make enough.”
Asked if he was concerned to trail the leaders by seven shots, Woods replied: “As of right now, no.
“You’ve got to play smart. Birdies can be had if you time the wind correctly and hit a good shot but you’ve still got to be smart about it.”
Woods, who totalled 29 putts on Friday, will have to make one of the best 36-hole comebacks at the Masters to claim his fifth Green Jacket.
Fellow American Jack Burke Jr overhauled a record eight-stroke deficit midway through the 1956 edition to triumph by a shot.
“We’ll see what happens,” said Woods, who trailed by six after 36 holes at the 2005 Masters before beating fellow American Chris DiMarco in a playoff.
“We’ll see what the weather conditions present and if you’ve got to make any adjustments, whether you can play aggressive or if you have to play conservative.
“I need to play a little bit better than I have.”