WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) – One week after he won for the third time this season, Tiger Woods gets a rare weekend off.
Woods missed the cut in the Greenbrier Classic by a stroke Friday, following an opening 71 with a 69 to finish at even par. He missed a cut for only the ninth time in his PGA Tour career, and for the third time in a tournament following a victory.
After winning Sunday at Congressional, Woods was on a course he'd never seen before.
“I didn't quite have it,'' Woods said. “I drove it really good today and I just did not have the feel for the distances. The ball was just going forever. I know we're at altitude, but I just couldn't get the ball hit pin high no matter what I did, and subsequently, I made some bogeys.''
Phil Mickelson also failed to advance to weekend play, the first time Woods and Mickelson have missed the cut in the same tournament as professionals.
Mickelson shot his second straight 71.
U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson topped the leaderboard at 9 under when play was suspended because of darkness in the round that was delayed because of rain.
Simpson made a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th for a 4-under-66.
A dozen players were unable to complete the round.
Woods believes his distance control will be easy to work on heading to the British Open, which starts July 19 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.
“Yeah, because it's not going to be this warm and we're not going to be at altitude. We'll be on the beach,'' he said.
When Woods was an amateur, he and Mickelson missed the cut in the 1993 Byron Nelson.
Mickelson had focused more on golf at this year's tournament after taking advantage of the resort's numerous amenities with his family last year. The result was the same.
“I really enjoy the golf course,'' he said. “I don't get it. I mean, I certainly struggled a little bit on the greens both years, but nothing that should have led to these scores.''
He has gone seven consecutive rounds over par and hopes his game improves.
“I certainly am looking forward to links golf,'' Mickelson said. “I enjoy playing the ball on the ground and hitting it – you know, trying to keep it below head high on some tee shots and so forth. That was fun last year when we had some terrible weather. And it will hopefully play to one of my strengths, which is short game, and I'll try to get that sharp heading into the British.''
Among those still on the course when play was stopped was Martin Flores, who was a stroke back at 8 under with two holes left. The round was delayed more than two hours earlier in the day because of thunderstorms.
Rookie Charlie Beljan (62), Jonathan Byrd (68), Jeff Maggert (68) and Jerry Kelly (66) also were 8 under.
Beljan had his career-best round, carding five birdies over a seven-hole stretch before making before a bogey on his final hole, the par-4 ninth. His best finish this year is a tie for 29th two week ago in Connecticut in the Travelers Championship.
“Today was the best day of my career,'' said Beljan, making his first visit to a PGA Tour media room. “I look forward to the weekend. I'm sure it's going to be a zoo.''
Being near the top of the leaderboard certain fits Beljan's philosophy of a high-energy life. One of his goals is to be strapped to the wing of a biplane in flight. Another is to ride a motorcycle in the Isle of Man TT Race.
“I like getting my heart beating,'' he said. “I like the adrenaline.''
Byrd has been battling illness the past three weeks.
“They always say beware of the sick golfer or the injured golfer,'' Byrd said. “Obviously I would rather be feeling healthier.''
First-round leader Vijah Singh shot 74 to drop six strokes back.