Tiger Woods stumbled out of the starting blocks with an opening-round 76 at the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday, and he proceeded to miss the cut at his first PGA Tour event in 17 months on Friday when he could only muster an even-par round of 72.
At four over for the tournament, Woods finished four shots back of the projected cut line at Torrey Pines. According to ESPN.com's Bob Harig, Friday marked just the 16th time in Woods' career he missed the cut at a PGA Tour event.
And even though he's heading home after just two days in Southern California, Woods flashed marked improvement Friday after he carded five bogeys and one double bogey in his opening round at Torrey Pines' South Course.
By comparison, Woods notched a pair of bogeys and a pair of birdies on an otherwise tame day that included several silver linings, according to GolfChannel.com's Tiger Tracker:
After his round, Woods acknowledged that while he "didn't make enough birdies" to extend his stay through the weekend, he did hit the ball "well enough," per Tiger Tracker.
The 14-time major champion can also take solace in the fact his playing partners, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson—arguably the two hottest players in the world—couldn't finish inside the cut line, as Golf Chanel noted on Twitter:
Looking ahead, Tiger will have to find more consistency off the tee after he hit a meager 50 percent of his fairways in regulation on Thursday and Friday, according to Golfweek's Kevin Casey.
But as the 41-year-old told reporters, it's all about making gradual improvements before the Masters.
"Just like everybody, I'm trying to get ready for that first week in April," he said, according to Golf Digest's Alex Myers.
If Woods finds a way to flash more precision with his driver and combine those stylings with the solid short game he brought to Torrey Pines, it's not unrealistic to think he could make some noise at the year's first major.