DUBLIN, Ohio – Tiger Woods called his second-round effort Friday afternoon in the Memorial Tournament “a mixed bag,” and, naturally, he had some mixed feelings about it, too.
The five-time winner of Jack Nicklaus’ event carded an even-par 72 at Muirfield Village Golf Club and completed 36 holes in two-under 142. He’ll begin Saturday’s third round seven strokes behind co-leaders Martin Kaymer, Troy Merritt and K.H. Lee. He sits T-33.
“Yeah, I’m going to have to [go low]. Seems like everyone is bunched together,” said Woods, who was knocking on the door of contention and then suffered a double bogey at the par-5 15th hole that ruined an otherwise decent day. “I just need a round like what Rosie [Justin Rose] played today.”
Rose, who won the 2010 Memorial Tournament, followed up an opening 75 with a nine-under 63 on Friday to surge up the leaderboard.
After an opening bogey, Woods appeared poised to post something in the 60s as he birdied Nos. 7, 11 and 13 to reach 4 under par. At the short par-4 14th, he dropped an approach to within nine feet of the pin. With the reachable 15th ahead of him, his prospects looked promising.
“I hit it there … at 14 I had a look to go to five [under] and make birdie at 15, go six and all of a sudden I’m three back,” he said of his thought process. “And now I’m seven back. So, a round that could have flipped and gone in a positive way didn’t do that because of what I did at 15.”
At the 15th, after putting the ball in the left side of the fairway, Woods, from 256 yards out, pulled a 5-wood onto the left hillside. He tried to chunk his third through the rough, but it didn’t release, and trying the same shot again, he still didn’t get the ball on the green with his fourth shot. His fifth, still with a wedge, leaked past the hole five feet and he lipped that out to take a double bogey.
He made par on the tough closing stretch, though he almost birdied 18 by chipping from off the left side of the green to within inches of the cup. “I don’t know how the ball didn’t go in,” he said with a smile. “That was two of them … the one over on six and the one on 18. They both hung on the lip.”
Woods hit the ball “all right,” he said, but “it wasn’t as sharp as I’d like it to be.”
Most of his misses were to the left. “And yesterday was right,” he added. “Hopefully, my misses tomorrow will be straight at it. Just the way it was. I just really wasn’t able to feel as comfortable as I’d like. But I was hitting it flush. It really isn’t that much that’s really wrong.”
And there’s still plenty of time over the next 36 holes to make things really right.