Tiger Woods at PGA Championship 2013: Round 2 Performance Grades at Oak Hill
In the second round at last week's Bridgestone Invitational, Tiger Woods basically put the field away when the shot a 61.
There was no second-round magic for Tiger at the PGA Championship. He was hoping to go low after an opening round 71, but all he could manage was an even par 70, putting him at one-over par 141 for two rounds.
In majors like the U.S. Open or the British Open, that might be good enough to get him in the mix. However, with Jason Dufner firing a 63 and reaching nine-under for the tournament, Tiger is not really in contention. He is tied for 39th at the halfway point.
He would need two spectacular rounds to even have a prayer of a chance.
The driving was not the biggest problem for Tiger Woods in the second round. At least it wasn't after he got past the opening hole.
Rips another fairway wood off the 10th tee. After a few early bobbles, seems to be feeling it off the tee last hour or so.
— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) August 9, 2013
Tiger's opening drive got caught up in rough, and he had to chop out of it. That left him with a short third shot that he got to within 10 feet, and the made the putt to start his round.
Despite that poor strike on the first hole, Tiger hit the ball somewhat better off the tee. However, after a birdie on 17, Tiger used his 3-metal on 18 and blocked it into the right rough.
This has been the strength of Tiger's game all year. He has won five tournaments because he hits his irons stiff and rarely makes mistakes.
While his iron play has been good in the PGA Championship, it has not been stellar. He has not been as sharp as he needs to be in order to have a chance to contend.
Woods hit an excellent short iron into the green on the ninth hole and that set up an excellent birdie opportunity. He couldn't make it and had to settle for a par.
His iron play was steady but not spectacular.
It just wasn't there for Tiger today on the putting green. He missed a five-footer and a three-and-a-half footer.
Overall, Tiger made four birdie putts, but he also had four bogeys. When he hit decent putts, he was getting done-in by poor luck. There were a number of putts that were one or two rolls short of going into the hole.
On the 18th, he hit a nearly perfect 23-footer, but it was just inches short of going in for a saving par that would have allowed him to close at even par after 36 holes. Instead, he had to settle for one-over par.
Woods took 32 putts in the second round and that's far too many for the best golfer in the world.
Unless his putter gets as hot as it was at Bridgestone, he's not going to have a much of a chance of catching up.
Tiger seemed to have a lot of bad luck. He struck the ball quite well at various points throughout the round, but his ball ended up in several difficult spots.
When you are playing at Oak Hill on a softening course (after the rain), you have to keep the ball in the fairway to take advantage of the excellent scoring opportunities. Tiger didn't miss the fairway by much, but when you have to chop your way out of deep rough, it doesn't matter that you may have been less than two yards from a decent lie.
So, while Tiger was a bit unlucky, he did not control his shots the way he needed to in order to contend in a major.
There is always a steely determination on Tiger's face when he competes. That determination seems to heighten in the major tournaments.
In his major-winning hey day, Tiger's intensity would result in a lot of low rounds. Now, it seems like it leads to a lot of near-misses. In the second round, he seemed to lose some of his edge on the first hole when he sent his drive into the right rough and was not left with a decent second shot.
He had a look of inevitability on his face. Outwardly, he speaks with confidence about his overall play in the majors, but he knows what others are saying and he knows how long it has been since he has won a major and it appears to be wearing on him.
Tiger is pressing and it seems like he has done that in most of his recent majors.
Expectations and pressure were quite high going into the second round after Tiger shot a 71 in the opening round.
He needed to get off to a good start and build from there. However, this was a round of fits and starts. Tiger missed several makeable putts and failed to capitalize when he had momentum after back-to-back birdies on the fifth and sixth holes.
While making four birdies was a step in the right direction, four bogeys kept him from getting into red numbers.
"I didn't hit it anywhere near as good as I did yesterday," Woods told Golf Digest.
He has effectively played himself out of title contention. He made the cut, but that's about the only good thing you can say about his first two rounds. Tiger has never been under par in any PGA round played at Oak Hill.
If he doesn't go significantly under par in two consecutive rounds over the weekend, he will find himself disappointed once again and he won't have another chance to win a major until the 2014 Masters.