Woods rues major missed cut: ‘I need to clean up my rounds’

Tiger Woods admitted that improvements are needed in all areas of his game heading into the rest of the major season after missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Woods, making his first appearance since finishing last of those making it through to the weekend at The Masters last month, experienced a bogey-bogey finish to his opening-round 72 before making a nightmare start to his second round at Valhalla.

The former world No 1 made two triple-bogeys in the first four holes of a six-over 77 on Friday, the first time in his professional career he has had multiple triple-bogeys in a major round, seeing him end the week on seven over and 19 strokes behind halfway leader Xander Schauffele.

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A look back at the highs and lows of Tiger Woods’ opening round at the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Woods is set to play the US Open at Pinehurst next month after receiving a special invite by the USGA to feature, with the 48-year-old conceding there is plenty of work required – on and off the golf course – before the third major of the year.

“I need to clean up my rounds,” Woods said. “Physically, yes, I am better than I was a month ago [The Masters]. I still have more ways to go, lots of improvement to go physically, and hopefully my team and I can get that done pre-Pinehurst and going into it.

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Tiger Woods’ hopes of making the cut faded after a triple-bogey seven on the par-four second

“It [his game] will [get better] In time. I just need to play more. Unfortunately, I just haven’t played a whole lot of tournaments, and not a whole lot of tournaments on my schedule either.

“Hopefully everything will somehow come together in my practice sessions at home and be ready for Pinehurst.”

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the sixth hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Friday, May 17, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Image: Tiger Woods was a previous winner at Valhalla during the 2000 PGA Championship, part of the infamous ‘Tiger Slam’

Woods has played a limited competitive schedule in recent years due to injury, with his latest missed cut meaning that he has still only completed all four rounds of a tournament four times since his Masters title defence in November 2020.

What went wrong for Woods?

Looking for a fast start to his second round, Woods missed a birdie opportunity on his opening hole before following an ugly triple-bogey at the par-four next and three-putt bogey at the par-three third.

Any hope of him making the weekend quickly faded when he took two attempts out of a greenside bunker on his way to another triple-bogey at the par-four fourth, although Woods responded by birdieing the par-five seventh and coming agonisingly close to a hole-in-one at the next.

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Tiger Woods was inches away from his first PGA Tour hole-in-one since 1997 during his second round at Valhalla.

A solid par at the ninth saw Woods reach the turn in 40, only for him to follow a three-putt bogey at the 11th by missing a five-footer to save par at the next to raise the possibility of a career-worst round at the event.

Woods responded to scramble a series of pars on his back nine, before signing off a disappointing week and another missed cut by getting up and down from the rough to birdie the par-five last.

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“I got off to bad start and the rough grabbed me at two,” Woods added. “No sand in the bunker as well – just made a mistake there. I compounded the problem there at four.

“I just kept making mistakes and things you can’t do, not just in tournaments but in majors especially. I just kept making them. I hung around for most of the day but unfortunately the damage was done early.”

Where will Woods play next?

He has won the US Open on three occasions, in 2000, 2002 and 2008, and is now set to return to the event for the first time since 2020. Woods is unlikely to feature in a regular PGA Tour event before then, based on the ‘tournament a month’ schedule he targeted for the season ahead.

Woods has no tournaments listed in the schedule on his website, although can also compete at The Open until he is 60 and will be aiming to feature at Royal Troon from July 18-21 to complete a full major schedule for the first time since 2019.

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Source : Sky Sports