TULSA, Okla. — Tiger Woods shall be round for the weekend on the 104th PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.
Needing to keep away from a bogey down the stretch to remain on the fitting aspect of the reduce line, the 15-time main champion did higher than that, with a birdie on the sixteenth gap. He shot 1-under 69 within the second spherical on Friday, which pushed him to three over by 36 holes.
While Woods is not positioned on the leaderboard the place he in all probability desires to be (he was tied for 52nd when he completed), he is nonetheless sticking round for the ultimate 36 holes, which is greater than what PGA stars reminiscent of world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Daniel Berger can say after lacking the reduce. Woods has made the reduce in 18 of twenty-two begins on the PGA Championship.
“You can’t win the tournament if you miss the cut,” Woods mentioned. “I’ve won tournaments — not major championships, but I’ve won tournaments on the cut number. There’s a reason why you fight hard and you’re able to give yourself a chance on the weekend. You just never know when you might get hot. This weekend I’m going to have to go low. It’s going to be different. The wind is going to be coming out of the north. It’s going to be cooler.”
Woods is taking part in in simply his second official tour occasion since he was critically injured in a automobile accident outdoors Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2021. He gave the impression to be extra comfy and engaged on Friday than he was within the first spherical, when he shot 4-over 70. He performed within the morning wave on Thursday and appeared to profit from a later tee time on Friday.
When Woods was requested to explain his degree of discomfort after Friday’s spherical, he mentioned, “All of that.”
Woods was additionally on the fitting aspect of the draw when it comes to the climate; he did not should battle wind gusts as much as 25 mph that plagued different gamers on Friday morning. The wind had largely died down by the point Woods and his taking part in companions, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, began their spherical.
While Woods limped and grimaced at instances, he battled and fought by ache in his surgically repaired proper leg as soon as once more. There have been glimpses of the previous Woods, too. The par-4 sixteenth gap, the third hardest this week, was an ideal instance. He hammered his tee shot down the center of the green, leaving him 209 yards to the outlet. He hit his ball to 4 toes with a 5-iron, which was in all probability his finest iron shot of the match. Woods’ birdie was simply the ninth on the 521-yard gap.
After struggling a double-bogey on the par-3 eleventh, Woods obtained again on the fitting aspect of the reduce line by sinking an eight-foot birdie on the par-5 thirteenth. He grimaced badly after hitting a layup shot on that gap. He made one other large par save on the par-3 14th, sinking a 14½-footer after a poor chip shot from simply off the inexperienced.
Even with Woods trailing chief Will Zalatoris by 12 photographs, he is nonetheless holding out hope that he can one way or the other climb again into competition. It would in all probability take a few rounds like what Bubba Watson did on Friday, taking pictures 7-under 63.
“I’m hoping I can shoot a number like Bubba did today tomorrow,” Woods mentioned. “That’s where my mind is at right now. I’ve got to do some things physically to get myself there tomorrow and it will be a quick turnaround. That’s the reward you get for just making the cut. You get to tee off early the next day, and hopefully I can get it in.
“The climate is meant to be somewhat harder and be somewhat extra testy, and hopefully that is the case. If that is the case, hopefully I can publish a very good spherical and at the least transfer up the board, get myself inside placing distance on Sunday. I’m fairly far again, however you simply by no means know. Major championships are onerous to win. We’ve seen guys with large leads or have made large comebacks, so that you simply by no means know.”
Woods gave the impression to be in fine condition for the reduce after he made a 10½-foot birdie putt on the par-4 tenth gap, which moved him to 1 beneath within the spherical. But on the subsequent gap, the par-3 eleventh, he badly pulled his tee shot to the left. He knocked his second shot right into a greenside bunker, after which could not rise up and down from eight toes. The double-bogey 5 dropped him to five over for the match.
It might have gotten worse for him on the par-4 twelfth. After knocking his tee shot into the green, Woods hit his second shot into one other bunker. After chipping out, he made a 14-footer to save lots of par.