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By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 14/02/20 9:36pm
Tiger Woods is determined to atone for the “bad mistakes” which crept into his wedge game during a disappointing second-round 73 at the Genesis Invitational.
Two poor approaches with short-irons in hand led to a double-bogey at the 15th – his sixth – and the first of three bogeys in four holes at the third as he slipped to level par for the tournament.
Woods had made a positive start with a birdie at the 10th offsetting his final-hole bogey on Thursday evening and getting him back to three under, but he dumped a wedge into the front-right bunker at 15 and, facing an ugly plugged lie, he could not keep his splash-out on the green.
The tournament host needed three more to get down as he signed for a six, but he clawed one back at 17 before missing an eight-foot birdie chance on the 18th green, but a superb pitch to tap-in range at the first got him back under the card for the day.
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But he again came up short with another wedge into the third and the mistake led to a bogey, and he compounded the error with a miss from five feet for par at the fourth before he three-putted from 50 feet at the par-three sixth.
Woods avoided a close flirtation with the cut mark as he parred safely in to stay at level par, and he knows he needs to get off to a fast start on Saturday to climb back into contention for one of the rare titles that has eluded him in his career.
“I made some pretty bad mistakes out there with balls in the fairway, with one ball in the fairway with wedge in my hand [15th] and another one with a sand-wedge in my hand [third] and played those two holes in three over. Not very good,” said Woods.
“On 15 I just hit it fat. I mean, honestly, I was just trying to kind of undercut a little wedge in there and get it up in the air and just hit it fat.
“I was not sharp today, either. I just could not get the ball close enough to the hole to give myself good putts. And then when I did, I was in the wrong spots, I was above the hole and had to putt pretty defensively.
“I drove the ball decent today. When I did miss it, I always missed it on the correct sides so I had great angles. There’s really no rough out here so you can kind of do that and I was able to take advantage of that, but I just didn’t hit it close.
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“It’s not that complicated, I just need to clean it up, but I’m now pretty far back and I have to make a lot of birdies this weekend. I’ll get some rest, get refocused tomorrow. I know with where I’m at right now I’ll probably be off the back nine.
“Hopefully I can get off to a quick start like I did last year, hot birdie run and maybe make an eagle in there like I did last year. I need a start like that tomorrow to get myself back in this thing.”