Tiger Woods in danger of missing cut

Tiger Woods in danger of missing cut

Woods was grinding on Friday to make the weekend cut in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

He was steady, and at times spectacular.

Woods has played in the tournament three times since his 2013 victory, missing the 54-hole cut in 2014, withdrawing in 2015 because of pain in his back after playing 11 holes at 2-over-par and missing the traditional 36-hole cut in 2017. Needing two putts for a birdie, he lagged it beautifully to a few feet short and tapped in for a 1-under 71.

Palmer finished eagle-birdie on the North Course for a 5-under 67.

Woods was seven shots behind Tony Finau, who led after his 65 on the North Course.

Woods is returning after fusion surgery on his lower back last April, his fourth back operation in three years.

In other news, defending champion Jon Rahm continued his stellar play.

It ruined everything, until he got to his 18th hole, the par-5, 556-yard No. 9, and sent the second shot to the right side of a vast green.

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It was a taste of things to come, and Woods had to settle for par after that. "If you're in the fairway you don't notice it as much, but a day like today when I spent most of the day in the rough, trying to get the crowds to move because everyone's trying to see what Tiger's doing, makes it a lot more challenging". In each case, Tiger was coming off a decent showing at the Hero World Challenge.

He grabbed the first of his three birdies at the par-five sixth, where he fired his tee shot 308 yards down the middle of the fairway. This will allow him to play more rounds and practice longer. His long eagle putt was on line but stopped about two inches from the hole.

Woods, an eight-time victor at Torrey Pines, was in the far left rough off the tee and then found a greenside bunker en route to an opening bogey. He chose to putt from there and the ball stopped about 3 1/2 feet short. He ended the day 10 shots behind leader Ryan Palmer. Woods, with his first cut made since the Wyndham Championship in August 2015 - 888 days ago - appears to have overcome the chipping yips that recently threatened to end his career.

"These guys are all going low and I haven't done that in a long time", Woods said. "I'm just starting out".

And then, after I hit a couple of those, I went for the spinner out there and lost a couple to the right, then settled in and hit some good ones, but still not quite right. The par fives are very reachable for me hitting some irons in there. Finally with a simple chip again, he failed for the only time all day as his ball raced by the hole and off the green.

"A lot of distractions behind me", he said.

The tournament victory might be out of reach for Woods, but the importance of getting to play two more rounds in the heat of competition can not be underestimated as he tries to build up to the first major of the year, the Masters in April.

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