Tiger Woods’s clutch final birdie has him on Genesis cut line

February 16, 2019

Tiger Woods’s putter may have come alive just in time at the Genesis Open. On a cool, cloudy morning at Riviera Country Club, the 43-year-old came to No. 9 in need of some final-hole magic to make the cut — and conjured up exactly that.

After his approach shot found the back fringe at the tough par-4, Woods paced around the downhill 24-footer and poured it in, getting to one-under 141 for the opening 36 holes. It just may be the difference in his chances of making the cut.

Woods struggled with the putter in his first 18 holes Friday, notching four three-putts and shooting just one-under 70 despite hitting 17 greens in regulation. As the temperature dropped Friday afternoon, Woods started to struggle from the fairways, too, hitting just eight of 18 fairways during the second round. But with the cut line hovering between even par and one-under, he may have done just enough to earn 36 more holes.

The final-hole heroics weren’t the only highlight of Woods’s second round. Just before play was halted Friday night, he rattled in a 43-foot eagle putt at the par-5 first (though he would give it back with bogeys at the next two holes).

As Woods teetered at the edge of the cut line, his playing partners soared to the top of the leaderboard. Justin Thomas bettered an opening five-under 66 with a second-round 65 to take a share of the lead, while Rory McIlroy played a near-flawless round, pouring in miles of putts to the tune of eight-under 63.

The 36-hole cut to top 70 and ties will be determined following the conclusion of play during the early afternoon on Saturday. The final group tees off for its second round at 9:35 a.m. PT.

Tiger Woods Riviera
Tiger Woods poured in a lengthy putt from the fringe on No. 9 at Riviera.
Getty Images