First he was inside the cut. ext he was out and looking to having the weekend off but then at the end of the second round, Tiger Woods was assured of playing all four rounds of the Memorial.
Woods returned to competition in Dublin, Ohio after a five-month competition lay-off and to a Muirfield Village golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus where he had won five times.
Woods also had teed-up in the blue ribbon event on 17 prior occasions and in the course of those 17 appearances Woods had never missed the halfway cut. That record now stands at 18 appearances for 18 in all four rounds with Woods posting scores of 71 and 76.
Woods had teed-up on Thursday in the company of two fellow one-time World No.1s – the current in Rory McIlroy and the former in Brooks Koepka – and in birdieing two of his opening three holes, a TV analyst stuck his stupid neck out to suggest Woods could win the Memorial for a sixth occasion.
Of course, TW still had 69 holes to play when our ‘analyst’ made his comment.
Woods would give the two shots back at the turn but brilliantly birdied his final hole in an opening round of a one-under par 71.
The second round dawned with Woods starting from the 10th and while picking up a birdie on 12, he dropped shots at 13, 15 and 17 before falling well down the board in taking a double-bogey at the first and then dropped to five-over for his round with a bogey at the next.
Commentators were noticing Woods was struggling with his swing but seemingly no issues with the body of the 15-time Major winner.
Woods was now six-over when he bogeyed the 15th hole of his round but never write-off a champion as Woods birdied the par-5 seventh and drained a brilliant 20-footer for birdie at his 17th hole, the par-3 eighth on the card, ahead of saving par on the last in a round of a four-over par 76.
“It was not very good as I three-putted two holes early, and whatever kind of momentum I was going to create, I stifled that early and fought it the rest of the day,” he said.
“I wasn’t quite moving as well as I’d like and couldn’t quite turn back and couldn’t quite clear. It was a bit of a struggle. It started this morning during the warmup. It wasn’t quite as good as I’d like, and it is what it is.
“I finished birdie-birdie-par. That’s about the only positive to it today.”
And before heading off to lunch, Woods confessed something that we have not previously heard before from the now 44-year old.
“I don’t have the same type of stamina as I used to have, that’s four sure, when I was training hard and running and all that stuff,” said Woods. “Granted, I’m a lot older now, so things change, they evolve. Yeah, so it is what it is. Energy, you try to suck it up as best you can and get through it.
“Aging is not fun. Early on in my career I thought it was fantastic because I was getting better and better and better, and now I’m just trying to hold on.”