Tiger Woods Battles Inconsistencies at AT&T National
There were the typical shouts of encouragement -- "Go, Tiger!" and "We love you, Tiger."
And then there was the consoling pep talk shouted from afar -- "Tomorrow will be your day, Tiger."
Woods can only hope.
The good form the beleaguered world No. 1 has been confidently predicting would soon arrive must still be circling the airport because it has yet to show up at Aronimick Golf Club.
Woods shot an even-par 70 Friday, put together by a series of stops and starts, momentum-sapping bogeys following almost every birdie.
On No. 11, a 412-yard par 4, he rolled in a 13 foot birdie after a 103-yard wedge to the green. A three-putt bogey from 40 feet followed at the 12th, but a 138-yard wedge to seven feet at No. 13 set up a birdie.
Woods could not keep it going.
He bogeyed No. 1, missing a nine-foot putt that would have saved par after hitting short of the green with his approach.
A wedge from 96 yards to five feet at No. 3 was followed at No. 4 by a 28-foot putt that dropped, producing back-to-back birdies but only to have the run halted with bogey at the par-3 fifth when he flew the green.
And finally, the day was probably best summed up by the 238-yard par-3 8th hole.
After missing the green left, Woods was in the bottom of a swale. Looking at a difficult chip just to get close. He crafted an absolutely beautiful chip to inside three feet -- only to miss the par-saving putt.
"I just blocked it," he said.
For the week Woods is 2 under on the par 4s, but has played the par 3s 4 over and the par 5s -- which he usually owns -- 1 over.
"Played them awful, absolutely awful," he said.
The putter, however, for the second straight day, was his nemeses. Woods needed 28 putts on Friday, two fewer than a day earlier. He hit nine of 14 fairways, but 11 of 18 greens.
The game that Woods once made look easy, now plays hard.
"Well, it's because I'm not making putts," Woods said. "I'm driving it on a string right now, and that's fun. But if you don't make putts, no matter how good you hit the golf ball, you're not going to shoot good scores."
Arjun Atwal, a regular practice-round playing partner back at Isleworth in Orlando, Fla., isn't having any trouble. The little-known tour player opened with a 66 and on Friday picked up where he left off.
Atwal, sounding very much like his famous friend, predicted good things immediately ahead.
"I know he didn't play a great final round at the U.S. Open or whatever, but he's been getting better," Atwal said. "His ball striking has gotten a lot, lot better."
The only thing now is Woods needs to show it.
"Yeah, I've just got to put together two good rounds and see where that leaves me," he said.