January 24, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Tiger Woods made only two birdies in his second round. (LaBerge/Getty Images)
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Different day, not much different result for Tiger Woods.
On an afternoon when one of his playing partners shot to the top of the leaderboard, Woods practically shot himself out of contention after just two birdies and one bogey en route to a 1-under 71 on Torrey Pines' North Course.
Woods enters the weekend nine strokes off the lead of Jordan Spieth, who made nine birdies and shot 63 with Woods watching.
"The kid's got talent," Woods said. "He hits it a long way, phenomenal putter. He was pouring them in there."
Woods, on the other hand, hasn't been in his first two rounds of 2014 -- despite playing at a place where he has won eight times.
He took 30 putts on Friday -- which included a pair of three-putts -- and again struggled on the par 5s, failing to birdie any of them for a second straight day.
Through his first two rounds here, Woods is a combined 1 over on the par 5s. A year ago at this point, he played them in 9 under before going on to victory.
In his seven wins at the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods was 77 under and averages 4.31 on Torrey Pines’ par 5s. Prior to Friday, he had made just three bogeys in his career on par 5s in the event.
"I wouldn't say it's rusty," said Woods, whose last competitive round came in early December. "It was just a fraction off. At this level and on golf courses like this, if you're just a fraction off it doesn't take much, especially as tight as that North course is."
Still, the North Course was there for the taking in the second round. The field average was four strokes lower than the more difficult South Course.
But Woods didn't give himself many opportunities, hitting just five fairways.
"When they went in the rough it wasn't just the first cut, it was like six inches in the deep stuff," he said. "Now I can't be aggressive, I've got to play conservative into some of these flags. When you should be able to fire at some of these flags, I just couldn't."