- By PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio – A year ago, Tiger Woods scorched Firestone Country Club with a 61 in the second round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, which he eventually won by seven shots.
Friday was a different story.
“I didn't hit the ball well. I didn't putt well,” said Woods, who stumbled to a 1-over 71 that leaves him 10 strokes back of leader Sergio Garcia. “I didn't do anything well.”
Woods hit just four fairways and took 29 putts on his way to four bogeys and three birdies. He also made only two putts over 5 feet, saying he struggled with the speed of the greens and his lines.
“It wasn't just the driver,” Woods added. “It was just everything. I didn't hit it good in warm-up. Sometimes it's just warm-up and then you go out and hit it great on the golf course. That wasn't the case today.”
Woods’ day started promisingly enough when he stuck his approach from the left rough on No. 10 to 3 feet and made the putt for birdie.
But one hole later he pulled his drive into the trees, had to lay up and missed 7-footer to save par.
Woods’ putting woes continued on the 13th when he missed a par putt from 7 feet, and he made another bogey on the par-5 second after driving into a fairway bunker and eventually failing to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker.
He bounced back with birdies on two of his next three holes but missed the green short on his approach to No. 9 before running his 15-foot par putt past the hole.
“If I would have putted like I did (Thursday), which is just normal, it's a 2, 3 under round,” Woos said. “But I missed a bunch of putts under 15 feet, and they weren't even close, that's the problem. It's not like they had the go-in look. They just weren't very good.”
Much of this season has been a struggle for Woods, who was bothered by a bad back before undergoing surgery at the end of March. He missed three months and the WGC-Bridgestone marks just his third tournament since returning last month at the Quicken Loans National, where he missed the cut.
Two weeks later at The Open Championship, Woods finished in 69th place after a 75 in the final round.
“That's one of the things that I've had to keep reminding myself, especially during practice sessions,” said Woods, who returned to action two weeks ahead of schedule. “This is supposed to be my second tournament back, not my third. Everything's going pretty good. I've gotten a little bit better, and the good news is I'm still getting stronger.”
Woods needs a win or two high finishes -- approximately two thirds or second and fourth-place finishes -- this week and next in order to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs. He could increase his chances by adding the Wyndham Championship the final week of the regular season to his schedule but said Friday that he doesn't know if he will.
Tiger Woods comments after Round 2 of Bridgestone