Woods knows he needs to go low, and fast
By Stan Awtrey, PGA.com Contributor
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – While the rest of the field was making progress, Tiger Woods was marking time.
Playing in the afternoon, when conditions were benign after rain soaked the competitors in the morning wave, Woods was met by frustration after frustration. Unable to again dial in the proper speed on the greens, he shot an even-par 70. That leaves him at 1-over 141, 10 shots behind leader Jason Dufner.
“Obviously I’m going to have to put together a really good weekend,” Woods said. “This golf course is pretty soft. It’s definitely gettable. Got to hit the ball in play and keep the ball near the hole so I can be aggressive with my putts.”
Woods never found the right pace on the greens Friday. He left two birdie putts on the edge of the cup and wound up needing 32 putts to complete his round, which ranked 126th in the field. He even had a pair of three-putt greens.
“I made my share and missed my share,” Woods said. “Just the way it goes.”
Woods, who began the day 1 over, bogeyed the second hole when he failed to get up-and-down from the greenside bunker. He drew back to even par for the week with back-to-back birdies at No. 5 and No. 6.
He took a bogey at the par-3 11th hole when he failed to get up-and-down from the thick rough in front of the green. He got the shot back when he birdied the par-3 15th and then finished bogey-birdie-bogey.
“I didn’t hit it anywhere near as good as I did yesterday,” Woods said. “Consequently I didn’t have that many looks. When I did, I missed my share.”
Woods isn’t ready to surrender just yet. With Oak Hill soft and assailable, Woods believes he is capable of pulling off a big finish. He’ll go off early and will have the possible advantage of posting a low number.
“I’m going to have to do my job and shoot a good round,” he said. “But then again, I’m so far back that if the leaders go ahead and run off with it and shoot a low one tomorrow, I’m going to be pretty far behind. I have got to post something in the mid-to-low 60s, like some of the guys did today. It definitely can be done.”