Sports Pulse: USA TODAY Sports # Steve DiMeglio discusses the upcoming tournament and why it will pose many obstacles for golfers.
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Carnoustie's brutal final hole delivered a 499 meter-long snapshot of Tiger Woods' second round at the 147th British Open.
After two powerful blows with iron on the hardest hole on the stretch of coast, Woods only stayed 6 feet for birdie and a chance to go through 36 holes in red. But instead of taking advantage of his two stellar shots, Woods let off another excellent opportunity away from him as he burned his lip with his putt and left with a par.
It covered an uneven day that ended on level equality, a 71 that equaled its opening round count and combined to leave it much further away from the leaders as it should be. But that was the topic of his comeback year to this day.
"I could have cleaned up just a little bit," Woods said. "Birdies could be had out there."
Woods made three of them but also made three bogeys. When he left the golf course, he was six off the clock and went to the gym, he said, perhaps the perfect place for him to work out some frustration.
After a sun kissed first lap, Friday broke with gray skies, cooler temperatures, a bit more breeze and lingering rain slowed down the hard layout to manageable speed. It allowed Woods to be more aggressive as he used his driver four times after calling him only once in the first round.
But his first use of the driver resulted in a driving drive and a bogey on the second hole. Then he pushed the third out of 35 feet, his second putt came to rest on the edge of the mug.
"I did not get off to a good start but got it back," Woods said.
But he should have gotten more. On the 4th and 5th holes he bounced back on birdies, but then fell back to par 5. On his way to Matching Par in the first round Woods had an 8-iron for his second hit in the par-6 5th and 5th 8-iron in his hand for his second on the par-5 14th.
He parsed every time that, for Woods, is inexcusable.
In the second lap, he pulled drivers as he headed to the tea box at No. 6 and then blew his ride 40 yards to the right of the fairway. He tried to make Par. But he has finally conquered the Par-5 14 and made birdie on the lightest hole on the course.
"Well, that's a positive," he said with a smile.
Woods also opened a major with successive rounds of par or better for the first time since the 2013 Open. But for the most part, he was unable to pass through 36 holes in this year's Open, Momentum or a three-putt Fall on the green in his path to get momentum. Woods said he is still in the mix to win the tournament, but a big weekend is needed to win the Claret Jug for the fourth time as there are many obstacles in the way, starting with a man named Tiger Woods.
There is also the course named Carnoustie, which has scorecard demolition hazards on every hole. And then there are some guys over him on the huge yellow scoreboards, including four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy, who has put together successive 69s. There is Tommy Fleetwood, who holds the course record with a 63 and shot 72-65. And Zach Johnson, a winner of the Open at St. Andrews and a green jacket at Augusta National, who drew with rounds of 69-67 on the weekend. And Kevin Kisner, who drove his magic putter to rounds of 66-70.
It will be a big order for Woods to win his first major since the US Open in 2008 and his first tournament since the 2013 World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational
"I played a bit better yesterday, today it was not so good, "said Woods. "It's going to be a pretty full leader, and I'm sure."