Rory McIlroy dropped three shots on the way home to fall somewhat off the pace at the halfway stage of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
Playing the tougher South Course, McIlroy began his round nicely and had moved to seven-under par for the tournament by the time he made the turn with birdies at par-4 7th and the par-5 9th where he hit a towering approach from 27 yards setting up a 10-foot putt for eagle.
However, just as it looked like his ascent up the leaderboard would continue, the Holywood star’s score began to unravel with three dropped shots to the clubhouse and no gains as he signed for a one-over par 73 that saw him fall to a tie for 17th at minus-four, six shots behind top-dog, Ryan Palmer.
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The high flying American wasn’t aware of any score but his own on Friday at Torrey Pines, and he knew it was good enough to at least get himself back into the mix in California.
He was on the North Course without any scoreboards but as he kept piling up birdies, Palmer was tempted to get out his phone and see where he stood.
“I said, ‘Just don’t look. We’ll see when we get done.’ I knew it would be close.”
It was much better than that. His 10-under 62, with a bogey on the last hole took him to a two-shot lead over Brandt Snedeker going into the weekend.
Woods opened his round with four putts from 25 feet for a double bogey, and then a spurt of birdies around the turn to get some momentum, only to stall the rest of the way for a 71 that left him six shots behind alongside McIlroy.
His 25-foot birdie putt up the hill was wide left, leaving him 30 inches. Woods missed the hole on that one, and it ran down the slope about 5 1/2 feet away. And then he missed the next one.
“It’s just poa,” he said. “I tried to ram it in the hole and it bounced, and hit obviously a terrible third putt, pulled it. The second putt, it’s just what happens on poa. I tried to take the break out and it just bounced.”
The bounced it on four birdies in a five-hole stretch through the 10th hole, but he didn’t make another birdie until the 18th for his 71 that put him in the group at 4-under 140.
Full scoring HERE