Tiger Woods' birdie drought continues in Round 2 of Northern Trust

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Tiger Woods' birdie drought continues in Round 2 of Northern Trust

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods' birdie drought continues in Round 2 of Northern Trust

PARAMUS, N.J. – Tiger Woods made another cut on the PGA Tour Friday at the Northern Trust, meaning he still hasn’t missed a non-major cut since the Genesis Open in February.

He fought admirably to stick around for the weekend at the Masters, and the Wells Fargo, and the Players Championship.

There was no such silver lining in Round 2 at Ridgewood Country Club, where Woods shot even-par 71 and bogeyed the last hole. No, ‘way to tough it out’ narratives going into the weekend. Just 36 of the most unexciting holes Woods has played all season in front of crowds that have reflected his performance.

That got him onto the weekend on the number and into a 7:50 a.m. tee time Saturday with Ian Poulter.

Woods started with six straight pars and finally got a birdie putt to drop at No. 7, on one of the most heavily-populated areas on the course. He pounded a drive into the fairway at No. 8 and finally it seemed like moves were about to be made.

But the 10-foot birdie try at eight didn’t fall, and by the end of the day it had taken Woods 35 putts to get around the course.

He still had an outside chance at contention after the birdie at seven, though it would have taken a ton of birdies for the rest of the week.

“I wasn’t going to be near the lead, but at least I could peck away at it a little bit,” Woods said of his mindset then. “I just never made any birdies. (Four) for two days, that’s not going to get it done out here.”

His -3.006 strokes gained putting on the day was the story, and it screwed up one of his best driving days in recent memory.

Woods hit driver 10 times and only missed the fairway twice with the big stick. Finally he seemed to have some confidence with the club that’s given him a lot of problems at times this year.

His iron game was on point too. He hit his first 14 greens of the day and 16 of 18 overall, so the chances were there.

That would have been the talk of the day with even a little help from the putter, but its ineffectiveness trumped all those positives because he’s now 10 shots behind co-leaders Jamie Lovemark and Brooks Koepka as a result.

“The name of the game is you’ve got to make putts and you’ve got to roll it,” Woods said. “No matter how good your drive is, you’ve still got to roll them and still got to make putts and I didn’t putt very well today. I had a hard time seeing my lines and consequently didn’t make anything.”

His first bogey-free round of the year was in play until a short par miss at No. 15, and he had a shocking three-putt on the 18th green from just 22 feet.

This is the first really bad putting day Woods has had in a while, so it’s not that big of a deal at face value. He’ll probably get it straightened out, as he has during similar bad stretches this year.

The bigger picture is Woods’ goal of finishing in the top 30 in FedEx Cup points to get to the Tour Championship at East Lake. He entered the week 20th and is currently projected to drop down to 25th.

That leaves plenty of room for Woods to pick up more points with a solid weekend, and he’ll be in the field the next two weeks as well.

That’s the silver lining from a really uneventful week in what so far has been a big letdown from the weekend charge and runner-up finish at the PGA Championship.

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