Tiger Woods likely to make it at the Genesis Invitational.jpgw1440

Tiger Woods likely to make it at the Genesis Invitational

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Tiger Woods finished his final four holes with three bogeys in Friday’s second round of the Genesis Invitational but looks set to make the cut in his first official tournament since last summer’s British Open.

Woods shot a 3-over-74 and sits at 1 over par through 36 holes at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Woods faltered late in his second round, but hours after he was done, uncertainty shifted to the promise as the cutting line moved 1 over and late afternoon competitors opened the way for the 82-time winner.

“I didn’t putt well today,” Woods said after his second round. “I blocked a lot of putts early and that’s probably the highest score I could have shot today. I probably should have shot five or six better.”

Woods, 47, has played sparingly on the PGA Tour since suffering catastrophic leg injuries in a car accident in February 2021, but earlier this week he said at a news conference he was “playing to win.” Competing alongside world No. 2 Rory McIlroy and No. 7 Justin Thomas, Woods entered that tournament ranked 1,294 but showed little discomfort apart from the occasional limp or laborious stride.

Woods finished his first round in remarkable fashion on Thursday with a 2-under 69, five shots off the 18-hole lead. He finished the game with three straight birdies, debunking any notions that his game could falter while pushing through a full round of golf.

But during Friday’s second round he struggled to finish in the same vein, flirting with the cut line before making three bogeys over his last four holes to finish in a 68 tie as he left the course.

“I just wasn’t making the putts early in the middle of the round when I had those opportunities,” Woods said. “They weren’t very hard putts – I was just hitting bad putts. Then, of course, I also had a very bad finish.”

Reflecting on his performance on Friday’s second lap, Woods said he misjudged the wind in sixth and ninth place. He also responded for his actions after overtaking Thomas on the first lap on Thursday when he was caught handing Thomas a tampon in a moment that went viral and was criticized by some as sexist and childish.

“It was just meant to be fun and games, but obviously it didn’t turn out that way,” Woods said of the gesture. “If I offended anyone, it wasn’t the case. It was just friends having fun and like I said if I offended anyone in any way I’m sorry. That was not intentional.”

By late Friday afternoon, Woods was 10 shots from the lead. But he can run until the weekend with an eye on improvement.

“I was only hitting bad putts,” Woods said of his show on Friday. “I could easily have made a very hot start but I didn’t. And in the middle part of the lap I could have turned it a bit, but I didn’t.”