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Tiger Woods Misses Cut After Shooting 72 on Day 2 of US Open 2018

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 15, 2018

Tiger Woods reacts after playing his shot from the 16th tee during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 15, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Despite an improved performance in the second round at the 2018 U.S. Open, Tiger Woods missed the cut with a 36-hole score of 10 over par after shooting a 72 on Friday. 

Early morning rain at Shinnecock Hills in New York did help slow down the fast greens, though Woods still struggled to find consistency going through the course. 

Starting his round on the back nine, Woods looked strong early and made the turn at even par for the round. He couldn't keep up that pace on the front nine, though consecutive birdies on the last two holes did help him end on a positive note. 

   

Woods' Shot at a Comeback Derailed by Back-to-Back Holes

The first half of Woods' scorecard was solid, with two birdies and two bogeys giving him an even-par 35 heading into the last nine holes of the second round.

That's when things fell apart. He carded a double-bogey six on his 10th hole—No. 1 on the course—one day after taking a seven on the same hole. 

That hole embodied what went wrong for Woods the past two days:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

After a double-bogey on No. 1, Tiger Woods is +5 on the 1st hole this week and +5 on the other 17. He was in the middle of the fairway after his tee shot on the 1st hole in both rounds.

Woods couldn't take advantage of hitting his tee shot in the middle of the fairway by getting on the green in time to get a birdie—or at least salvage par. 

After taking a six, Woods hit another bogey on his 11th hole (No. 2) that dropped his score to 11 over par.

   

Woods' Putting Game Has Derailed Comeback 

Among the many problems Woods had at the U.S. Open, one of them has been an ongoing issue since his return to the PGA Tour this season. 

Woods entered the U.S. Open ranked 89th in putting strokes gained, 115th in total putting and 123rd in three-putt avoidance. 

Tim Brando @TimBrando

@Tireman4 @TigerWoods Ball striking is fine, but Tiger is in his early 40’s. Many greats lose their big time clutch putting capabilities then! He’s mortal. Plus, this is a 2nd shot golf course. His approach shots have been inconsistent.

In the first round, Woods needed four putts to finish No. 13 after starting 40 feet from the hole when he got on the green. He needed 28 putts on Friday after hitting nine of 18 greens in regulation. His consistency off the tee was solid, with 11 of 14 fairways hit in the second round. 

Putting tutor Dave Pelz offered one potential explanation for why Woods has been unable to figure out his putting.

"Well, he's stubborn," Pelz told USA Today's Josh Peter. "And when you've been the best there's ever been, it's hard to ask for advice, probably."

Peter noted Woods has never used a putting specialist, despite being on his fourth different swing coach. 

Woods' comeback tour has yielded positive results, including consecutive top-five finishes at the Valspar Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. 

Being able to putt will help Woods turn those strong finishes into victories. 

      

What's Next?

Despite the ugly showing on the difficult course at Shinnecock, Woods will make a quick return to the course. He's scheduled to play in The National starting on June 28 as a tune-up for the British Open on July 19.   

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