Tiger Woods' return to the golf course is over almost as soon as it began after missing the cut with a four-over par 75 in the second round (plus-seven overall) at the 2014 Quicken Loans National event, missing the cut.
There was some optimism for Tiger heading into the second round after he finished Thursday with three birdies on the last six holes. It wasn't a flawless round, by any means, with seven bogeys but good enough considering he hadn't played in three months.
Another reason there was hope for Tiger on Friday was his past performance in the second round at Congressional Country Club, as NBC's Golf Central pointed out on Twitter:
Of course, all of those stats are talking about Tiger at a different point in his career when dominating the field was still possible. He last won this event in 2012, which was when he was on an upswing with three wins for the season and five more in 2013.
This year has been a disaster for Tiger thanks to the back injury that required him to miss three months. He's now missed two cuts in just five events played so far. Yet he wasn't as down on himself as you might think, saying after the round how he felt physically, via Golf Central:
"I came back four weeks earlier than I thought we could. I had no setbacks, I got my feel for playing tournament golf." - Tiger Woods— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) June 27, 2014
Tiger started out well on Friday with four straight pars, but fell apart on No. 5 with a double bogey. After back-to-back birdies on nine and 10, the collapse came in a hurry with four consecutive bogeys that pushed his score to eight-over par for the tournament and five-over for the round.
Tiger's day ended better than it started. He made par on 15, 17 and 18 with a birdie on 16 mixed in. That was as good as things would get.
Even though it wasn't an unexpected result, especially after Tiger cautioned that there would be rust to shake off when he announced this would be his return to the PGA Tour, Christine Brennan of USA Today noted on Twitter how strange it is to see him missing the cut:
To put @TigerWoods missing the cut into perspective: this is his 299th PGA Tour start. It will be just his 10th missed cut.— Christine Brennan (@cbrennansports) June 27, 2014
Even though the outcome isn't what Tiger wanted, if you were to catch him in an honest moment, the goal was never to be in contention at the Quicken Loans National. He admitted to reporters, via ESPN.com's Farrell Evans, before the tournament started that if his foundation didn't have a role at the event, he "probably would not have played."
Tiger's goal has always been the British Open on July 17. He did need to get his feet wet before trying to attack Royal Liverpool Golf Club, so these last two days can't be considered a total bust.
Nothing that happened on Thursday or Friday should change Tiger's outlook for the season's third major. There were enough good moments to take away that he can build on, but the best part of the event is how he seemed to make it through 36 holes with no pain in his surgically-repaired back.
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