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Tiger Woods finally shows up at a major, then promptly dives below PGA cut line

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for Tiger Woods early into his second round at Whistling Straits.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Tiger Woods made two straight birdies on Friday at Whistling Straits and suddenly it appeared that news of the demise of his career had been greatly exaggerated.

Then the Big Cat of yore was replaced by today’s toothless kitty, who clawed his way to an ugly double-bogey on the very next hole.

Woods seemed to signal that he expected to be wheels up sooner rather than later after a 3-over 75 in Thursday’s opening round of the PGA Championship. Then he gave notice early on Friday, when he went out in par-birdie-birdie, that he actually might be around for the weekend of a major for the first time since the Masters in April.

Tiger’s woes with his short game and, more recently, his driver, resulted in two consecutive missed cuts in grand slam events for the first time in his career when he failed to make it out of the first two rounds at the U.S. and British Opens. Thursday, on the shores of Lake Michigan, a balky flat stick had Woods fuming about what he termed one of his "worst putting rounds."

Things did not start well on Friday for Woods, who began the round on the wrong side of the projected cut line. Using a fairway wood for accuracy off the tee on his first hole (the par-4 No. 1), he immediately yanked his golf ball left into one of the 1,000-plus bunkers that dot the links-style track.

A stellar recovery shot set up a 25-foot putt for just his third birdie of the week, but his bid wobbled left of the hole and the Tiger MC watch was on. Then came his back-to-back birdies and Tiger fans were jubilant.

But not for long.

Woods was in the weeds on the side of a hill off the fourth tee and in another bunker on his approach to the green on the par-4. He chunked his third shot into yet another bunker and, yada yada yada, a double-bogey later, Woods was back where he started, at 3-over after five eventful holes -- two strokes south of a Saturday tee time.

After a seriously ugly bogey involving more sand and gnarly rough on the par-4 eighth and a par on nine, Woods made the turn in what will likely be his final competitive round of the season at 4-over for the tournament. This mess at the 9th was not helping his cause.


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