The name Tiger Woods was being thrown all over the place going into the 82nd Masters.
Blame all the enamored talking heads and yeah, blame Freddie Couples with them.
It was Couples who was beyond giddy after playing two practice rounds with Woods. “He’s hitting it beautiful — long and straight.”
After 36 holes at Augusta National, Tiger Woods found himself grinding just to make the 36-hole cut and fortunately he did.
His opening 73 was frustrating for the four-time Masters champion and his Friday 75 was worse.
“I didn’t hit my irons very crisp, very clean,” Woods observed after his second round. That was his downfall more often that not. Consider that on the par three 12th, he’s done something he’s never done at The Masters — hit his tee shots into Rae’s Creek in both the first and second rounds.
A slow start didn’t help him either. He started his day with a bogey then at the difficult par four fifth, found an area seldom visited by anyone — the trees over the green. His second caught the downslope and disappeared into the thick brush. He took unplayable, managed to get his fourth into a greenside bunker then got up-and-down for double. He turned at three-over and would finish there.
Woods did get his first birdie of the week on a par five when he reached the 13th in two and two-putted. He got another at 15 but they were offset by bogeys at both par threes.
He made the 36-hole cut by a shot and he can thank his putter for that. “I hit so many good putts that didn’t go in,” he pointed out.
What he will have is a chance to play all four rounds and he’s thankful for that.
But he’s also thinking what might have to happen for him to move up over the final 36.
“I’m going to have to shoot a special weekend and get help. I’m so far back.”