Golf

Tiger well off BMW pace after second-round 75

  • Previously worked at Indianapolis Star, covering the Indiana Pacers for nine seasons
  • Also covered Vikings for St. Paul Pioneer Press

OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. — Not even a 37-foot putt to save par on the final hole could stop Tiger Woods’ disastrous round — or get him to stop and talk to the media — on Friday.

Woods continues to sputter his way along since returning to the PGA Tour last month, and at the rate he’s going, he’s on his way to sputtering out of the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta next weekend, too.

Woods shot a 5-over 75 in the second round of the BMW Championship on Friday and is 8 over overall entering the weekend. The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings after this weekend qualify for the Tour Championship. That means Woods has some substantial work to do over the next two days here; he’s currently tied for 55th in the tournament and needs to finish around fourth overall to crack the top 30 in the FedEx standings.

The 8-over total is tied for Woods’ fourth-worst score to par through 36 holes in a non-major PGA Tour event as a professional, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. His worst score was 13 over in the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Woods hasn’t shown much of anything after returning to the tour from its five-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic. He finished tied for 37th and 40th at the Memorial and PGA Championship, respectively.

Woods had a bogey and a double bogey on the front nine Friday before getting his first birdie on the par-4 11th. But then he followed that up with a bogey on the next hole. He went through a rough stretch on the back nine, with bogeys on four of five holes.

Tournament officials said Woods would not talk to the media after the round.

Not qualifying for the Tour Championship might be a good thing for Woods; it would keep him from playing three straight weeks, something he doesn’t do as much anymore due to troubles with his back. The U.S. Open is scheduled for Sept. 17, at Winged Foot.

Woods basically summed up his second round on the 14th hole when his second shot rolled back down of the green, leaving him a putt of nearly 73 feet. It sailed by the hole and off the back of the green, leaving him a 14-footer. He ended up with a bogey.

It appeared a bogey on the par-4 18th would be fitting for Woods, who drove it into a fairway bunker and then hit his second shot just 52 yards, leaving him 161 yards out. His approach went way right of the pin, leaving him a putt of almost 37 feet for par. But Woods, who is only 57th in the field in strokes gained in putting, made the long putt to end on a good note.

It was about the only time Woods smiled during his round — and about the only time Friday he would want to, too.

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