Tiger Woods, amid flap, shoots 74 but likely makes cut in LA
Tiger Woods shot a 3-over-par 74 in the second round of the Genesis Invitational on Friday, but he still likely will make the cut in Los Angeles.
Woods, who carded a 69 on Thursday, stands at 1-over 143 through two rounds at Riviera Country Club. The projected cut line when he finished play Friday was even par, but it subsequently moved to 1 over.
He is in an 11-way tie for 60th place. While 14 players had yet to finish the second round when play was suspended due to darkness, Woods is all but assured of finishing among the top 65 and ties who will make the cut.
While probably advancing to the weekend in his first competitive event since the Open Championship last July was good news for Woods, he found himself in the middle of a controversy and wound up apologizing for what he said was a prank that he played on playing partner Justin Thomas.
Woods has played sparingly since injuring his right leg and foot in a single-car accident in Los Angeles two days after the 2021 Genesis.
“I did not putt well today,” said Woods, who also is the tournament host. “I blocked a lot of putts early and this is probably the highest score I could have shot today. Probably should have shot probably five or six better than this easily. Just didn’t make the putts early and the middle part of the round when I had those opportunities.”
He started Friday’s round on the back nine and bogeyed the par-4 12th and 13th holes, including missing a 5-foot par putt at No. 13, before recovering with his best shot of the day at the par-3 14th. His tee shot bounced on the front of the green and rolled to 10 inches of the cup to set up a tap-in birdie.
But his only other birdie of the day came at the par-5 17th, where he escaped a fairway bunker and stuck his third shot inside 3 feet. Woods went on to par the next six holes before bogeying three of his last four.
The par-3 sixth has the unusual feature of a bunker in the middle of the green. After his tee shot landed at the front end of the green, 71 feet from the pin, Woods tried to putt and watched his ball trickle into the bunker.
“I was actually trying to hit … my putt over to where (Justin Thomas) was and the hill caught it more than I thought it would and ended up in a bunker,” Woods said. “I mean, I was trying to give myself a chance at making par and at worst bogey. So realistically I had two bad calls on the wind on 6 and 9 and end up costing me two shots there.”
Woods’ was 10 strokes off the pace of leader Keith Mitchell, who was in the clubhouse at 9-under 133.
Woods played the first two rounds with Thomas and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. While Thomas shot a second-round 73, he is 1 under through two rounds and more than likely to make the cut. McIlroy, meanwhile, followed Thursday’s 67 with a 69 to get to at 6 under and is three shots behind Mitchell.
Amid the action, social media exploded with reactions to Woods’ apology regarding his interaction with close friend Thomas while they played the first round on Thursday.
Woods said he didn’t mean to offend anyone after he was seen slipping a tampon into Thomas’ hand after he outdrove the younger player by 20 yards on the ninth hole.
“It was supposed to be all fun and games and obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” Woods said. “If I offended anybody, it was not the case, it was just friends having fun. As I said, if I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I’m sorry. It was not intended to be that way.”
Thomas immediately dropped the tampon to the ground, and Woods put his arm around Thomas’ shoulder as they walked the fairway and shared a laugh.
“It was just we play pranks on one another all the time, and virally I think this did not come across that way, but between us it was — it’s different,” Woods said.