2018 British Open: Tiger Woods grinds out another 71 to remain in contention

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2018 British Open: Tiger Woods grinds out another 71 to remain in contention

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2018 British Open: Tiger Woods grinds out another 71 to remain in contention

Tiger Woods battled in the second round of the British Open and he’s safely onto the weekend.

The 42-year-old fired a second straight even-par 71 at a much softer, rainier and cooler Carnoustie on Friday to ensure he would not miss the cut in back-to-back majors. In his first British Open appearance in three years, Woods gets into the clubhouse through 36 holes at even-par 142 and in a tie for 28th.

He’s currently six off the led with 36 to play. Not the ideal position, but Woods certainly remains in the hunt.

His Friday round started in nearly opposite fashion to his Thursday – where he birdied two of his first four holes. This time around, he bogeyed the second after a poor drive and approach (a wild hook attempt that hit into the gallery) and then made it back-to-back with a bad three-putt from 30 feet.

He was quickly 2 over overall and on the cutline.

But Woods would wage a battle valiantly the remainder of the round.

A birdie putt from 12 feet at the fourth dropped and he just coaxed in a 30-footer at the fifth to follow his consecutive bogeys with back-to-back birdies and return to even par.

A sloppy bogey at the ninth after a poor approach had Woods out in 1-over 37.

A 15-footer fell at the 11th for birdie to move Woods back to even and he dropped another one of that length in an important par at the 13th. He then fashioned two excellent shots at the par-5 14th and left himself 20 feet for eagle.

When he two-putted, he was 1 under again.

Carnoustie’s brutal closing stretch did bite back a little, as Woods missed the green at the par-3 16th and bogeyed to fall back to even. Yet at the intimidating 18th, Woods launched a 6-iron from 219 yards within 8 feet of the flag.

His birdie putt, though, hit the right lip and stayed out.

Overall, it seemed like Woods didn’t have his game as much as he did Thursday. His ball-striking seemed iffy for large swaths of the second round.

He hit four drivers, and three of them were wild. And few of his irons off the tee were quite poor as well. Some loose approaches festered, too.

But he was solid for enough of the round tee to green to avoid any disasters, and his putter did heat up on Friday and helped him grind out a respectable score. He rolled in a few longer putts to get his round on track. And while Woods did miss a few inside 10 feet, he did make his fair share of testers to keep matters from falling off.

Woods will go into the weekend with a chance but certainly chasing.

It remains interesting to see how conservative he remains off the tee. It appeared he was getting a bit more aggressive due to softer conditions with a few drivers early, but that went away quickly in a sea of irons off the tee to follow.

Maybe that strategy can lead him back to the promised land this weekend. But his tee-to-green game will certainly have to be sharper than Friday if he wishes to do so.

Regardless, Woods will enter comfortably into the weekend in Scotland.

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