Tiger Woods has dropped a shot on his second nine at Oak Hill, falling four back of leader David Hearn, who's at 5-under. After his opening nine (on Oak Hill's back side), it looked like Woods was on pace for a round in the mid-60s and a push toward the top of the leaderboard. But, his momentum has stalled on Oak Hill's difficult front nine.
Tiger had an excellent birdie opportunity on No. 2, but blew his putt past the hole for his first bad miss of the day up on the green. Up until that point, Tiger's work with his wedges and putter had carried him through his first 10 holes. That ugly miss was more of what we saw on the weekend at Muirfield.
Woods then missed another great birdie opportunity on Oak Hill's second, and his last, par-5 of the day. It was the first time Tiger hit driver in the round, and he immediately lost it right, his ball sailing into the highest portion of the graduated rough. That miss closed the door on the hole being a two-shot par-5, but Tiger's layup was not good, either, the ball slowly advancing up the graduated rough and barely rolling out onto the right fairway. Woods made it three bad swings in a row when his approach shot also went short right into a greenside bunker.
Tiger always dominates the par-5s when he wins -- it's his most reliable path to victory. Those three bad swings left him muttering under his breath and wielding his club in anger after the third shot. Unfortunately for Tiger and unlike his first nine, he could not get up-and-down out of the sand to save. A par on the hole would have been a mild disappointment for Woods, but a bogey certainly had him fuming.
There were six missed greens in regulation through his first 13 holes, but the putter and wedges had saved him and pushed him into the red. This morning tee time on Thursday may be the best shot for Tiger to go low and even fire a round of 65 or 66 (26 players are under par). But the missed short putt at No. 2 and the ugly bogey at No. 4 have momentarily stalled his round.