His body language screaming misery on a cold, dreary morning at TPC Scottsdale, Tiger Woods glared out over an expansive water hazard as another one of his bizarre shots from around the green came to rest behind him as light rain fell upon him.
He was one-third of the way into his second round Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the upbeat mood Woods was in earlier this week as he prepped for his 2015 debut had soured.
En route to shooting the worst score of his 1,267 rounds as a professional – an 82, or 11 strokes above par – the former world No. 1 was wayward with the driver and looking completely lost with his short game.
Forty-four of those 82 strokes came on his front 9, matching the highest 9-hole score of his career.
Coupled with his opening 73, Woods missed back-to-back cuts in official PGA Tour events for the first time in his pro career of 303 starts. And it’s just the second time he’s missed the cut in his first tournament of the year since he turned pro in 1996.
On the aforementioned hole where he was staring into the abyss, Woods drove his ball into the water at the par-5 15th before missing the green with his approach.
And then, wanting to hit his bunker shot 20 feet, he blasted it 60 feet off the other side of the green. Then he chunked his chip shot. Walked off with a snowman. He later bladed a chip shot that was supposed to go 10 feet. Instead, it went 25 yards.
As startling as the score he signed for was, his handiwork around the greens is presently alarming. Woods fumed and fans gasped as he repeatedly chunked, bladed or stubbed a chip or bunker shot.
Watching the winner of 79 PGA Tour titles and 14 majors hit shots from around the greens these days is as inconceivable as Secretariat losing by 50 lengths, Michael Jordan tossing up bricks for 30 consecutive games and Rafael Nadal losing 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.
But it’s happening.
“It was painful to watch,” playing partner Jordan Spieth said. “Because you know his short game once was as good as anybody’s was ever going to be.”
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SOURCE: USA Today