Tiger Woods struggled on Friday in the second round of the Memorial Tournament, managing a mere two-over 74 to sit at plus-one overall through 36 holes—just two strokes ahead of the projected three over-par cut line.
As a five-time champion in the Jack Nicklaus-hosted event at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, it was surprising that Woods couldn't get anything going in Round 2.
ESPN's Justin Ray observed how the disappointing display stacked up to prior performances in 2013 for Woods, and at this specific venue, it was his worst score in a decade:
Tiger Woods shoots 74 today. It ties his worst score on @PGATOUR this year & is his worst here since 2003 (3rd Rd, 76).— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) May 31, 2013
It will take a minor miracle for him to recover on the weekend adequately enough just to sniff contention, as Woods sits 10 shots behind clubhouse leader Bill Haas. Play was suspended due to rain three times, and players still need to finish before Saturday's third round officially begins.
Amid Woods' trials and tribulations when his status for the weekend was in reasonable doubt, Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman pointed out a key statistic:
In 13 starts, Tiger Woods has never missed cut at Memorial. The 5x champ now flirting w/it. +2 for week (T64), +3 on day thru 6.— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) May 31, 2013
Below is a look at Woods' scorecard, followed by more reaction to his round and a breakdown with highlights of how he fared.
Tiger Woods' 2013 Memorial Tournament Round 2 Scorecard
7 ||3||4 ||4 || 39
|Score ||4||4||4 ||3||
4 ||4 ||
4 ||3 ||5 ||35 || 74
Note: All statistics, information and video are courtesy of PGATour.com; Woods started on the back nine.
Rain and gusty winds made conditions more arduous than in Round 1, and those factors took their toll on Woods. Entering this prestigious tournament, the world No. 1 had never started a season putting better nor had he notched four PGA Tour victories before the Memorial in any previous season.
Woods took 30 putts in the opening round and told reporters afterward that the greens were bumpy due to the poa annua grass being slightly raised, per the Golf Channel's broadcast.
Things began even worse on this day, as he already had 22 putts through 12 holes, including a three-putt from four feet at the par-five 15th that resulted in a double bogey:
That was a rarity to say the least, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Tiger Woods double-bogeyed a Par 5 today at the Memorial. Before today he played 212 par 5s at the Memorial and double bogeyed once.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 31, 2013
An awkward stance at the par-four 17th just above the greenside bunker threatened to drop Woods even farther. However, he hit it within seven feet, and drained the putt to avoid losing even more ground. It was the longest putt Woods jarred:
Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker documented the final stat line for Woods immediately following the round:
Tiger's Day 2 line: 13/14 fairways hit, 10/18 GIR, 30 putts.— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) May 31, 2013
After hitting 11 of 14 fairways the first day, his tee shot at the par-four sixth marked the 10th consecutive time he found the short grass. Slightly off iron play and uncharacteristically poor work with the flatstick were his big shortcomings.
In an effort to get things back on track at the turn, Woods failed to convert this birdie chance at the par-four second hole after a solid approach. It was one of many good looks he had on the day, but it simply didn't fall:
The first birdie of the day didn't come until the par-five fifth hole, and it required a two-putt after finding the surface in two shots.
Shane Bacon of Yahoo! Sports had an interesting theory as to why Woods had a rough time on Friday:
I feel like Tiger is just trolling everyone that wrote a similar "Woods is back to 2000 form" column this week.— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) May 31, 2013
How well will Tiger Woods finish this weekend?
Even with birdies at the two closing par-fives, Woods is even-par for the week on those holes. He entered the Memorial ranked first on Tour in making birdie or better 61.36 percent of the time.
Capitalizing on par-fives has always been one of the defining characteristics of Woods' dominance. It's fitting that he is failing to do that while mired in this miniscule slump.
Another legendary attribute Woods possesses, though, is the ability to grind and make the most out of even the most seemingly dire of rounds. In that regard, it's also appropriate that he mounted his rally on par-fives, where he asserts his will better than anyone.
A closing bogey at No. 18 after a chip short of the green, though, left Woods with a bitter taste and farther from the top of the leaderboard.
*For complete scores for the 2013 Memorial Tournament, visit PGA.com.