Rusty but encouraged Woods misses Congressional cut
(Reuters) - A rusty Tiger Woods made an early exit from the Quicken Loans National in Bethesda, Maryland on Friday when he missed the cut in his first tournament in three months, but expressed optimism over his game's progress.
Woods, who had been sidelined since March after having surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back, struggled with his driving and short game on a tough Congressional Country Club layout on the way to a four-over-par 75 in the second round.
That left the former world number one at seven-over 149, and well outside the projected cutline of three over.
Woods, whose charity foundation is benefited by the PGA Tour event, had opted to return to the U.S. circuit this week to give himself competitive preparation for next month's British Open, the third major of the year.
"I am really encouraged by what happened this week," an upbeat Woods told reporters after a round that included just three birdies, five bogeys and a double.
"I missed the cut by four shots, that's a lot, but what I was able to do physically and the speed I had and the distance I was hitting the golf ball again, I hadn't done that in a very long time.
"I needed to get back into competitive feel ... to hit shots and shake some stuff off and see how things were. I've had no setbacks. I got my feel for playing tournament golf."
Woods headed into Friday's second round facing an uphill battle to make the cut after opening with a 74 and he lost further ground when he double-bogeyed the fifth before dropping another shot at the eighth.
He briefly raised hopes of conjuring a stirring fightback as he drained a 26-foot birdie putt at the ninth, then followed with a 12-footer at the par-three 10th. Continued...