If you don’t think that the popularity of Tiger Woods still drives PGA Tour golf , you obviously didn’t watch The Golf Channel coverage of second round play at The Quicken Loans National on Friday afternoon. They occasionally showed us good shots from around Congressional Country Club, but the majority of the coverage centered around a group that finished at 14 over par and included the former number one player in the world.
Out of the featured group, only 2013 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Jordan Spieth was able to ride his putter into the weekend. Jason Day, who says he is healthy after missing events due to a sore thumb, needed a birdie at 17, but made a bogey and will sit out the weekend with Tiger Woods.
Tiger is starting to sound a lot like Phil Mickelson. After shooting two of poorest rounds of his career, remained positive about his golf game, and contends that he is not that far away from being able to play competitive golf again.
“Even though I missed the cut by four shots; the fact that I was able to even play,” he said. “I came back four weeks earlier than we thought I could. I had no setbacks. I got my feel for playing tournament golf.
“I made a ton of little, simple little mistakes, misjudging things and missing the ball on the wrong sides and just didn’t get up-and-down on little simple shots. Those are the little things I can correct, which is nice.”
Woods only hit 16 of 28 fairways in the two rounds. He missed 16 greens over 36 holes, eight each day, and used a total of 61 putts, including 30 on Friday.
It is uncertain whether Tiger will play another event prior to the Open Championship, but the opinion around the media is he really needs to get the tournament rust off of his game before he travels to Hoylake next month where the best players in the world will be waiting for him.
The good news is, Tiger showed no signs of pain during his 36-hole rehab at Congressional, and sounds like a guy who is ready to get back in the saddle. We’ll see!
The crowds at Congressional on Friday were huge, and took on a weekend feel. Most of them there to see what Tiger would do after his three-month layoff due to microdiscectomy surgery back in March. I think the crowds, and Tiger’s sloppy play may have affected playing partners, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth.
It was apparent that they may have got caught up in Tiger’s game, and didn’t take care of business. The 20 year-old Spieth was all over the golf course as well, but a bunch of one-putts bailed him out, and he will play the weekend.
We will get a chance on Saturday to see how he fares now that he is free from the featured group.
Lost in the Tiger Woods story is the great golf being played by the leaders in this tournament. There is a log-jam at the top of the leaderboard led by a couple of Aussies, and two US Open Champs a couple of strokes back.
Marc Leishman, Oliver Goss, Ricky Barnes and Patrick Reed are all tied up and will tee it up on Saturday with a piece of the 36-hole lead at six under par.
2013 US Open winner, Justin Rose is three back, and two-time US Open Champ, Retief Goosen is four back.