Woods, who had been sidelined since March after having surgery to
repair a pinched nerve in his back, struggled with his driving and
short game on a tough Congressional Country Club layout on the way
to a four-over-par 75 in the second round.
That left the former world number one at seven-over 149, and well
outside the projected cutline of three over.
Woods, whose charity foundation is benefited by the PGA Tour event,
had opted to return to the U.S. circuit this week to give himself
competitive preparation for next month's British Open, the third
major of the year.
"I am really encouraged by what happened this week," an upbeat Woods
told reporters after a round that included just three birdies, five
bogeys and a double.
"I missed the cut by four shots, that's a lot, but what I was able
to do physically and the speed I had and the distance I was hitting
the golf ball again, I hadn't done that in a very long time.
"I needed to get back into competitive feel ... to hit shots and
shake some stuff off and see how things were. I've had no setbacks.
I got my feel for playing tournament golf."
Woods headed into Friday's second round facing an uphill battle to
make the cut after opening with a 74 and he lost further ground when
he double-bogeyed the fifth before dropping another shot at the
He briefly raised hopes of conjuring a stirring fightback as he
drained a 26-foot birdie putt at the ninth, then followed with a
12-footer at the par-three 10th.
However Woods continued to miss fairways off the tee and, with the
lush rough at Congressional posing all sorts of problems for
recovery shots, he went on to bogey the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th.
Though he birdied the par-five 16th after reaching the green in two
and two-putting, he lipped out a birdie attempt from just four feet
at the 17th before parring the last.
"I made a ton of simple little mistakes, misjudging things and
missing the ball on the wrong sides, not being able to get up and
down on simple shots," said the 14-times major winner.
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"The thing I was worried about the most was hitting driver, and I
roasted it, the last two days I hit it really well. The short game
"As I said, I made so many little mistakes this week, but that is
something I can rectify, and get that fixed for the British (Open)."
Woods has been increasingly plagued by injuries in recent seasons as
the wear and tear of years on the tour have begun to take a toll.
He failed to finish the PGA Tour's Honda Classic at Palm Beach
Gardens in early March, quitting after 13 holes in his final round,
then tweaked his back again on the last day of the WGC-Cadillac
Championship in Miami just one week later.
Woods pulled out of the March 20-23 Arnold Palmer Invitational, a
key lead-up tournament he has won eight times, in the hope that he
could play at the Masters before he opted to undergo surgery on
He ended up missing the Masters, in April, and the U.S. Open at
Pinehurst earlier this month but will compete in the year's third
major, the British Open at Hoylake, from July 17-20.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene
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