NEWTON SQUARE, Pa. (AP) — Tiger Woods figures he’ll be playing on the weekend, just a lot earlier than he wanted.
Woods again played well from tee-to-green Friday in the AT&T National and had hardly anything to show for it in a round of even-par 70 that left him flirting with the cut line, yet still not out of the picture.
Jeff Overton didn’t make a bogey until his final hole and shot a second straight 68 to reach the halfway point at 4-under 136. He was the leader in the clubhouse, with the four players who opened at 4-under 66 – Nick Watney, Joe Ogilvie, Jason Day and Arjun Atwal – playing in the afternoon at Aronimink.
Woods had five consecutive one-putt greens – two of them for birdie, one for a bogey – until he missed a 30-inch par putt on his 17th hole and did not give himself a reasonable birdie chance on the par-5 ninth to end his round. He was at 3-over 143.
That was barely outside the cut line when he signed his card, yet he was inside the cut an hour later and likely to be safe.
“I drove the ball on a string for the most part the last two days and haven’t gotten anything out of it,” Woods said. “I’ve just got to put together two good rounds and see where it leaves me.”
Woods played before a large and enthusiastic gallery in the Philadelphia suburbs, which hasn’t seen a PGA Tour event in eight years. His second round likely was enough to draw large crowds on the weekend, the only question being whether they’ll go home when he finishes.
Overton did a good job saving par when he had to, and making the few good birdie chances he had. His only blemish came on the 591-yard ninth hole at the end of his round, when he caught a bad lie in the rough and took two shots to reach the green, making a bogey.
“I wasn’t quite as up-and-down as yesterday,” Overton said. “I didn’t have as many great opportunities for birdie, but at the same time, I had a bunch of putts from 15 and 20 feet roll over the edge. And any time you’re doing that, you’re knocking on the door.”
Robert Allenby, whose last PGA Tour victory came in Pennsylvania nine years ago, had a 67 and was at 3-under 137, along with Bo Van Pelt (68) and Ryan Moore (70). Moore was at 5-under par with two holes to play until closing with two bogeys.
Woods had back-to-back birdies on his back nine, including a 30-foot birdie on the fourth hole. Just when he had some momentum, however, he turned his 7-iron just enough on the par-3 fifth that it landed 5 feet from the hole – a great shot on a soft course, trouble on the firm greens of Aronimink. The ball took a hard bounce into the rough, and that’s where his troubles began.
Woods tried a delicate chip to land it on the fringe, but moved the ball only 10 feet and stayed in the rough. Then he chipped 7 feet past the hole, and made that to escape with bogey. More shocking was the short putt he missed on the par-3 eighth, after a superb chip-and-run over a hump and 50 feet across the green. He nearly holed the shot, then blocked the 2 1/2-foot putt and still made bogey.
“It’s not quite where it needs to be, not quite sharp yet,” Woods said. “I hit it awesome and putt awful. I putt great, hit it awful. It’s always something.”