Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2014 Contents A63
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BETHESDA---Tiger Woods got the
competition he wanted, even if it was
only for two days.
In his first tournament in more than
three months because of back surgery,
Woods made back-to-back birdies
around the turn at Congressional and
was one shot off the cut line when it
all fell apart at the Quicken Loans
National in Maryland.
A tee shot into the hazard. A bad
break when his ball got hung up in the
collar of a bunker instead of tumbling
into a flat lie in the sand. A poor chip.
Missing the green in the wrong spot
from the middle of the fairway. It added
to four straight bogeys, sending him to
a 75 to miss the cut by four shots.
"I need to get back into competitive
feel and just to feel it, to hit shots and
shake some stuff off and see how things
work," he said.
Woods misses cut in Maryland
That competitive feel returned
in other ways. Woods walked off
the 14th green after his fourth
straight bogey muttering to him-
self, clearly frustrated that one area
of his game that used to be so reli-
able had abandoned him. He
missed 16 greens over two rounds
and saved par just three times.
Standing on a hill near the 15th
green, he looked back toward a
large video board that displayed
this message about the cut: 76
players currently at +3.
Woods was at 8 over at the time.
A late birdie did little to change
the fact he was headed home.
It was only the 10th time in 300
starts as a pro on the PGA Tour
that Woods had missed the cut,
and the first in two years. And it
was the first time he saw this as
positive, starting with the fact he
was playing again.
"I came back four weeks earlier
than we thought I could," Woods
said. "I had no setbacks. I got my
feel for playing tournament golf.
I made a ton of simple, little mis-
takes---misjudging things and
missing the ball on the wrong sides
and just didn't get up-and-down
on little, simple shots. Those are
the little things I can correct."
Marc Leishman of Australia
turned potential bogey into unlike-
ly birdie when he holed out from
127 yards on the par-5 ninth hole
on his way to a 5-under 66 and
a four-way share of the lead going
into the weekend.
Oliver Goss, another Aussie who
is making his second pro start,
had a bogey-free 66 and joined
Leishman at 6-under 136 along
with Ricky Barnes (69) and Patrick
Reed (68), who already has won
twice this year.
Woods was 13 shots behind at
It wasn't the largest 36-hole
gap from the leaders in the pre-
vious nine times he missed the
cut on the PGA Tour. It just looked
Woods took two shots to get
out of a plugged lie in a bunker
on the fifth hole and made double
bogey. He three-putted for par on
the next hole and never looked
more sloppy than on the short
par-4 eighth. He was in perfect
position after hitting a big drive,
61 yards from the hole at the right
angle. His pitch was too strong
and left of the flag, leaving him a
downhill chip from the collar. He
hit that 7 feet by and missed the
Even so, Woods took encour-
agement from not feeling any pain
in his back, and from swinging as
hard as he wanted with his driver.
That's what concerned him about
playing this week. Turns out it was
the two shortest clubs in his bag
--- the wedge and putter --- that
did him in.
It was surprising to see Woods
go straight from the range to the
tee in both rounds. Most players
give themselves a few extra min-
utes in the chipping area.
If it was lack of competition that
hurt Woods, he faces a minor
dilemma. He is not playing next
week at The Greenbrier Classic ---
Woods said he is taking his two
children on a vacation --- and it
might not be prudent to cram in
a bunch of tournaments so soon
after back surgery to alleviate a
pinched nerve in his back.
His next tournament would
appear to be the British Open at
Hoylake, where he won in firm,
dry conditions in 2006, when he
hit driver only one time all week.
Tiger Woods waits on the 18th green during the second round of the
Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Friday in Bethesda, Maryland.
Wood ended the day at 7-over-par 149 and missed the cut. AP PHOTO
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