Tiger Woods struggles on a cool, wet 30-hole day that left him nine off the lead


PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — A day after not hitting a shot because of heavy rain that wiped out most of the opening round at the Genesis Open, Tiger Woods played 30 holes on chilly Friday that turned rain-soaked and cold by the time the horn blew as darkness set in at Riviera Country Club.

It proved a daunting task for the 43-year-old recipient of four back surgeries.

“It was a tough day,” Woods said. “I’m stiff right now.”

Even before the big chill set in as temps sank into the low 50s and he tightened up, though, Woods’ play was a mix-and-match of good and bad.

On his first hole of the first round, he came up woefully short of the green, dumping his second shot from 165 yards in a bunker and failing to get up-and-down for birdie on the par 5 and easiest hole on the golf course. Then came a three-jack for bogey on the third.

There were bright spots — like four straight birdies around the turn — but Woods struggled enormously with the putter, with four three-putts and 34 putts in all, despite hitting 17 of 18 greens. He opened with a one-under 70.

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“Four three-putts is ridiculous,” he said before heading right back out for the second round.

Things started promisingly enough with birdies on 10 and 12, but the success was short lived. And the rain set in, too.

Woods bogeyed the 16th, failing to get up and down from the sand behind the green, and followed with three bogeys over his next five holes as his struggles with the putter re-emerged.

The only bright spot: An eagle at the par-5 first thanks to a 44-footer.

“I putted awful today,” Woods said a few minutes after the horn blew for darkness at 5:26 p.m. PST, leaving Woods at even par on his second round and one under overall, nine strokes back of co-leaders Justin Thomas and Adam Scott. “I didn’t hit it that bad, felt like I controlled it well enough and just a terrible day on the greens.”

The good news for Woods? There’s no rain in Saturday’s forecast. The bad? He’ll be back out at 7 a.m. with another long day ahead of him — if he makes the cut.

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