Woods rallies from bad start to keep himself in the hunt
A poor opening drive led to a quick double bogey for Tiger Woods on Friday, and he hit only five fairways all day. But instead of shooting himself out of the tournament, Woods, as he does so often, bulldogged his way to a respectable score.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.com Chief of Correspondents
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Some would say the tone for the day was set on Carnoustie's first hole.
Tiger Woods stepped to the tee to the usual hearty applause that accompanies the arrival of the No. 1 player in the world. He then hit a most unusual shot -- by his standards, at least -- that splashed in the Barry Burn that caresses the left side of the fairway.
One penalty and five strokes later, Woods had opened the second round of the 136th Open Championship with a double bogey. He would finish with a bogey on the 18th and a round of 73 that left him 1 over for the tournament, seven strokes behind halfway leader Sergio Garcia.
"I didn't hit it all that great today," Woods said before taking refuge on the range. "I hung in there, though. I could easily have shot myself out of the tournament there, but I kept myself in (it).
"With the weather coming in tomorrow I need to, obviously, get organized, because tomorrow more than likely will probably be a pretty tough day."
Woods only hit five fairways on Friday, which was in sharp contrast to the first round where he hit 12 of 15. The two-time defending champion only found eight greens in regulation, as a result.
He wasn't disheartened, though. Not even after the double bogey on the first hole.
"Yesterday I made three bogeys and shot 2 under par," Woods said. "So I basically just made two on the first hole. I've got one left, I can still shoot 2 under par.
"It's not like you don't make bad swings in major championships;. That's part of the deal. The whole idea was not to make anything worse than 6 and I didn't. I got one back (with a birdie) at the next hole, so it was all good."
Woods said he simply wasn't committed to that initial drive. When he got to the tee, he realized that he could run the ball into the right bunker if he hit the low shot he'd been practicing on the range. He thought about throwing the ball higher in the air, but he wasn't sold on that, either.
"I didn't back off," Woods said. "I went ahead and hit the shot and hit a bad shot, so it was basically a lack of commitment on the golf shot and poor results."
With a weather forecast for Saturday's third round that includes rain, wind and the coldest temperatures of the week, Woods' famous focus should serve him well. He said anything around par will probably be a good score -- and might mean a boost on the leaderboard.
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"This golf course is playing difficult," Woods said. "It's not going to be playing any easier this weekend. You just have to go out there and grind it out and try and stay away from big mistakes.
"We played (a practice round) on Monday, obviously, in a pretty good gale and it was pretty hard. We'll see if it's anything like that."
In the immediate future, though, Woods was headed for the practice tee, where he planned to meet with his swing coach, Hank Haney.
"I know what I was feeling," Woods said. "Whether what I was feeling and what he was seeing (are the same) -- hopefully, they'll coincide and we'll fix it."