Woods reverts to mediocrity

Cary, July 4

Tiger Woods mixed some good shots with a couple of terrible drives as he carded a one-under 69 in the second round of the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia on Friday.

A day after shooting his best score in 16 months, a 66, Woods reverted to mediocrity and ended the day equal 26th, four strokes behind pacesetters Jhonattan Vegas and Scott Langley at the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs.

The 14-time major champion made four birdies on the rain-softened course, but three bogeys on the back nine demonstrated that his swing issues have not been resolved as he looks towards this month’s British Open at St Andrews. Woods, who four weeks ago shot the worst score of his decorated career, an 85 at the Memorial tournament, did not speak to the media.

But he was clearly frustrated by two particularly poor tee shots. He sprayed his drive at the par-four 13th so far right it almost went out-of-bounds. Later, at the par-five 17th, he pushed his tee shot into a water hazard, a swing that prompted him to smash his driver into the turf in frustration.

He subsequently saved par after taking a penalty stroke and dropping his ball far closer to the hole than the point where the ball entered the hazard and where, it appeared from television replays, he should have dropped. A PGA Tour media official told Reuters that rules officials would not review the incident, however.

Venezuelan Vegas (65) and American Langley (69) head a crowded leaderboard at nine-under 131, one stroke ahead of seven others including Englishman Greg Owen. “I’m feeling great, playing great,” said Vegas, the 2011 Bob Hope Classic champion. “I’ve just got to keep going. I just haven’t been able to put it all together.”

Langley, who led overnight after a first round 62, was frustrated by his putter for much of the day but satisfied in the end to break par. “I wasn’t really sharp off the tee and left a lot of putts short but overall it was a solid score,” he said. Only seven strokes separate the 78 players who made the cut.