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QUICK TAKE: Short-Iron Struggles Mark Woods’ Second Round

Tiger Woods (Photo credit: John David Mercer-USA Today Sports)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – Looking for one swing to summarize Tiger Woods’ Friday at the Players Championship and why he had to sweat out the cut line after finishing 36 holes at 1-under par?

Let’s go the par-4 fourth hole.

Woods had 106 yards to the hole with water in the front. As wedge shots go, it was not terribly demanding.

“(I) tried to flight one in there and, geez, I stuck in the ground and hit it long (in a bunker). It’s a bad combo,” said Woods, who managed to save par on the hole.

It was a theme that ran through Woods’ second round on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, a different frustration from Thursday when finding fairways was an issue. Woods had nothing more than a 6-iron into any par-4 on Friday but continually cost himself chances with his shortest clubs.

Woods had a wedge into the 10th hole, drove it in a fairway bunker at the reachable par-5 11th then hit another indifferent wedge into the ultra-short par-4 12th. Three pars and three shakes of his head.

“I’m more frustrated in the fact that I had some shorter irons in there and I didn’t hit any of them close. I should be hitting them inside flag length and I didn’t do that at all today,” said Woods, who posted 71 Friday after an opening 72.

There was a light moment when his caddie, Joe LaCava, stumbled over Phil Mickelson’s golf bag and fell on the 18th green but Woods let Mickelson do the needling. It was about all Mickelson had, tacking a 73 onto his opening 79 to miss the cut as did Rickie Fowler, the other player in the star-stacked group.

Woods had to grind hard enough to finish where he did that he paid little attention to the struggles of Mickelson and Fowler.

“I have my own struggles,” Woods said. “I have my own business to take care of.”


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