Tiger falls back in chase for No. 83 at Riviera
Cards 2-over 73 in second round of The Genesis Invitational
February 14, 2020
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods opens Friday with birdie at Genesis
PACIFIC PALISAIDES, Calif. – Tiger Woods has suffered from a late-round fade for the second day running at The Genesis Invitational, leaving his chase for a much wanted win at Riviera Country Club in a precarious spot.
Woods produced three bogeys over his last seven holes to settle for a 2-over 73, pulling him back to even par for the tournament and allowing him to play the weekend.
Woods is in the midst of a 13th attempt to win a tournament at the venue where he began his PGA TOUR career as a 16-year-old. He grew up some 40 miles away and now hosts the event which became an elevated Invitational status this season.
In Thursday’s opening round, he played his opening eight holes in four under before fading to two under. Friday, he opened on the par-4 10th with a birdie, but stumbled with a double-bogey on the 15th when he caught his approach shot fat and ended up in a bad bunker lie.
However, the 82-time TOUR winner rebounded with birdies on the 17th and first holes to be within shouting distance of the leaders at the time. Unfortunately, the round unraveled from there.
Woods was unable to get up and down from a bunker to save par on the third hole and missed a five-foot par putt on the next. A three-putt on the sixth hole was another dagger and contributed to losing over two strokes on average to the field in Strokes Gained: Putting.
But Woods was more annoyed with his approach game as he aims to move out of a tie atop the all-time TOUR wins list with Sam Snead.
“I made some pretty bad mistakes out there with balls in the fairway… one ball in the fairway with wedge in my hand and another one with a sand wedge in my hand and played those two holes in three over. Not very good,” Woods said.
“You take those away and I'm near the top of the board. So it's not that complicated, I just need to clean it up, but I'm now pretty far back and I have to make a lot of birdies this weekend.
“I was not sharp today. I just could not get the ball close enough to the hole to give myself good putts. And then when I did, I was in the wrong spots, I was above the hole and had to putt pretty defensively.”
It was the first over-par round of the season for Woods, including the four he played in his Hero World Challenge. After Thursday’s fade, Woods referenced a lack of preparation time as he juggled his dual roles as host and player. But with his early finish Friday, he hoped some rest would freshen his mind and game.
“Hopefully I can get off to a quick start like I did last year, hot birdie run and maybe make an eagle in there like I did last year,” he said in reference to a third-round 65 that saw him move from 52nd to 10th in 2019.
“I need a start like that tomorrow to get myself back in this thing. Everyone's bunched. There's so many guys that have a chance going into the weekend. The wind's picked up. I don't know if the guys will go quite as low this afternoon as they did this morning. I just can't (drop any more shots), not where I'm at.”