Woods carded a first round four-over 76 on the South course and followed that up with a second round even par 72 on the North course. The 14-time major champion’s biggest issue in the first round was his inability to hit fairways. He managed to find only four of 14 which made things extremely difficult and left him scrambling to save par. While he showed flashes of good around the greens with his wedges, it wasn’t enough.
Tiger’s second round was better and he found the fairway 10 of 14 times and made two birdies and two bogeys, but at Torrey Pines if you’re struggling with any part of your game you are going to get beat and Tiger had put himself in too big of a hole after the first round to recover.
People have been quick to jump on Woods for missing his first cut back in over 17 months, but his concerns with the pace of play are legitimate, especially since he was playing with Mr. “I’m going to play slower,” Jason Day. Day, who is the number one ranked player in the world, also missed the cut finishing just one stroke ahead of Woods. The number three ranked player in the world Dustin Johnson also missed the cut and finished just two strokes ahead of Woods. If you look at things from that point of view Woods didn’t do all that bad in his first PGA Tour event since August of 2015.
Yes, the scoring got better as the weekend came around, but jumping on Woods for failing to make his first cut, even if it was on a course he has dominated in the past, is a bit excessive. It will take some time for him to get used to playing not only with people he hasn’t played with in years, but also the speed of the game, which is way too slow.
So, as I’ve continued to say, give him time. Woods was not going to come out and win his first event back and he likely won’t win his second, or third, or fourth event back, but there’s no reason to be skeptical of long-term improvement.
Woods is scheduled to tee off three more times in the next four weeks at the Dubai Desert Classic, Genesis Open and Honda Classic. Bookmaker.eu has released odds on how many cuts Woods will make over that stretch of tournaments.
Tiger Woods Odds
|How many cuts will Tiger Woods make in his next three professional events?|
|0 (+250)||1 (-105)||2 (+135)||3 (+600)|
|Will Tiger Woods tee off in official play for the Dubai Desert Classic, Genesis Open and Honda Classic?|
|Yes -550||No +350|
I’m not asking you to believe he’ll win again, but I am asking you to pump the brakes. Give him time and let’s see if he can make it through this season with a few good performances and without suffering any major injuries.