It wasn’t clear on Saturday afternoon if I was watching a US Open, or the Farmers Insurance Open. The calendar says it’s January, and way too early in the season for the US Open, but the scores, and the South Course at Torrey Pines looked a whole lot like what I saw in June of 2008. The exception is that Rocco Mediate shot 74 on Thursday and withdrew, and Tiger Woods shot 79 on Saturday, has an MDF next to his name, and will not tee it up on Sunday.
You are probably asking the same thing I asked. What’s an MDF? I’ve never heard of an MDF, or a 54-hole cut in a regular PGA Tour event. This is what the PGA says about it:
That’s the PGA TOUR’s acronym for “made the cut, did not finish.” Because more than 78 players advanced to the weekend, there was a 54-hole cut for top 70 and ties. Only one other player, club pro Michael Block, had a worse score than Woods.
OK, I get it now. After Tiger Woods shot one of his worse rounds in a PGA Tour event, he joins eight other players with a ticket out-of-town because too many players made the cut, and they needed to pare the field a bit before the finale’ on Sunday. Hey!..he still gets a paycheck for showing up and making the first cut, and I’m sure Tiger needed the money.
It was a blood-bath on Saturday, and there was no wind! The fairways were narrow, the rough was very tough, and the pins were tucked in places where no one could find them. The hard, lightning-fast greens provided no safe haven for players needing pars to keep pace.
Tiger Woods started the day at -1 under par, and with everyone going South, was still in this tournament, and at -1 under on the day when he got to the 18th hole (Tiger started on the back nine). After missing a three-foot putt for bogey, and making another double bogey at the first hole, Tiger went on a bogey barrage that looked a whole lot like one of my days on the links.
He put five consecutive bogeys on the next five holes before getting a rare birdie at seven. He smiled, bowed and the people clapped. He rolled in another nice putt at the par three 8th, and struggled for another at nine(his last hole).
The world’s number one appeared to find humor in his plight, but did not make himself available for reporters after his round. Next stop Dubai for the Dubai Desert Classic next week.
The Torrey Pines South Course required accurate tee shots and lot of patience on a day when everyone was backing up, and Tiger Woods had neither on Saturday afternoon.
The average score on the South Course through three rounds was 74.24, compared with 74.97 during the U.S. Open. And keep in mind, the field for the Farmers Insurance Open is almost entirely PGA TOUR or European Tour players.
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