Woods survives cut but continues to struggle on greens

CHARLOTTE (North Carolina) • Tiger Woods blamed his inability to adjust to slow greens for another mediocre putting performance in round two of the Wells Fargo Championship on Friday.

He missed five putts from inside 10 feet and flirted with missing the cut before scraping through with a two-over 73 at Quail Hollow.

A 13-foot birdie at his final hole, the par-four ninth, was by far the longest putt he sank all day.

"I'm on a hot streak right now," he quipped after posting a two-over 144 halfway total that left him nine strokes behind halfway leader Peter Malnati.

The huge gallery that had turned up early to watch the 14-time Major champion groaned almost in unison as Woods missed a four-footer and a couple of six-footers.

Not only did he squander a handful of excellent birdie chances, several of them did not even threaten the hole.

"I've struggled with the greens being as slow as they are," said Woods, who needed 31 putts on Thursday, when he made three birdies, and 33 putts on Friday. "Yesterday I was blocking them. Today I was pulling them trying to hit them harder... and release the toe of my putter and I just wasn't doing it right.

"I've had ample time to make the adjustment and I haven't."

Still, he did enough to avoid recording the sixth round of his professional career without a birdie.

Birthday boy Rory McIlroy also slipped nine strokes off the pace after he shot 76, his worst score in relation to par in 32 rounds at Quail Hollow, where he has won twice.

"Struggled with my game, struggled to get my ball in the fairway, made some pretty bad mistakes, didn't birdie any of the par fives," said the Northern Irishman, 29: "It just was one of those days where I just couldn't get anything going."

Malnati opened up a one-stroke advantage over Jason Day (67) and Aaron Wise (68) with two late birdies for a 68.

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 06, 2018, with the headline 'Woods survives cut but continues to struggle on greens'. Print Edition | Subscribe