ROCHESTER, New York (Reuters) - Not much went right for a frustrated Tiger Woods in Friday’s second round of the PGA Championship. He putted poorly and lost ground to the leaders on a day when low scores abounded in rain-softened conditions.
A heavy favorite coming into the tournament after winning last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational by seven shots, Woods battled to a level-par 70 before heading off to the practice range.
His bid to end a five-year title drought in the majors appeared to be in tatters as he ended the day 10 strokes behind pacesetting American Jason Dufner, tied for 38th at one-over par.
“Obviously I’m going to have to put together a really good weekend,” Woods told reporters.
“This golf course is pretty soft. It’s definitely gettable. Got to hit the ball in play and keep the ball near the hole so I can be aggressive with my putts.”
Woods offset four birdies with four bogeys in a round that included 32 putts, and two three-putts over the closing stretch.
Asked if disappointment summed his feelings, Woods replied: “Just the finish I had obviously, and driving the green at 14 and three-putting there. And then three-putting at 16.
“I missed a few (putts) today. I didn’t hit it anywhere near as good as I did yesterday. Consequently, I didn’t have that many looks. When I did, I missed my share, too.”
Every aspect of his game appeared to be in top order last week as Woods clinched his 79th career PGA Tour win and his fifth victory of the year in just 11 starts.
Asked to explain the sharp contract in form, he replied: “Just the way it goes.
“Obviously I need to hit it better than I have, obviously keep the ball below the hole so I can be aggressive with the putts.”
A four-times winner of the PGA Championship, Woods faces a massive task going into Saturday’s third round as he seeks to regain form with 37 players ahead of him on the leaderboard.
“I’m going to have to do my job and shoot a good round,” said the 37-year-old. “But also, then again, I’m so far back that if the leaders go ahead and run off with it and shoot a low one tomorrow, I’m going to be pretty far behind.
“I have got to do my job tomorrow, go out there and post something in the mid to low 60s, like some of the guys did today.
“Some of the guys were seven under through 14, seven under through 14. It definitely can be done.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Julian Linden