Woods struggled with his putting throughout his second-round 70. After starting the day with a share of the lead, he is now five shots behind leader Xander Schauffele.
After holing four putts of 10 feet or longer on Thursday, Woods’ longest made putt Friday was a 6-footer for par on his first hole. He ended the day with a three-putt bogey that was punctuated by a miss from 6 feet. It was his second consecutive missed par putt from inside 10 feet.
Woods was 1 for 4 from 4-8 feet on Friday. This was his second-worst performance in Strokes Gained: Putting of the season. He lost 3.57 strokes on the greens. Only the second round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, where he lost 3.68 strokes with his putting, was worse.
Woods made three birdies and three bogeys Friday. All three of his birdies came on putts from inside 3 feet, and two of them were on par-5s. He made just 31 feet, 4 inches of putts in the second round.
Woods wasn’t ready to blame his putter, though.
“I hit it just as good and putt it just as good. Nothing went in. That’s the way it goes,” Woods said.
It wasn’t just his iron play that wasn’t sharp. He hit 14 greens Friday but failed to hit many shots close to the hole. On the par-3s and par-4s, he hit just two approach shots within 15 feet. His proximity of 37 feet, 4 inches was almost 12 feet higher than the previous day.
A change in conditions is partly to blame. Woods’ average approach shots on the par-4s Friday was 144 yards, 19 yards longer than the previous day. Thursday’s high temperatures allowed the ball to fly far and for Woods to hit driver over many of the fairway bunkers that cut into the fairway.
The softer conditions made the course play longer and made it difficult for him to get close to the back hole locations. Half of Friday’s pins were cut within 10 strokes of the back edge of the green.
“(I) couldn’t get back there, couldn’t skip the ball back there,” Woods said. “It was a difficult task to try and flight one to get it back there without hitting it over the back.”
Aronimink was hit by rain overnight, and tee times were moved up because of thunderstorms that were forecast to hit Friday afternoon. The air was damp and heavy when Woods teed off at 8:06 a.m.
He missed four birdie putts from 20 feet or less on his first seven holes. He didn’t make his first birdie of the day until the par-5 ninth hole, where he pitched to 2 feet from in front of the green.
That offset his first bogey of the tournament. One day after hitting his tee shot over the green on the downhill par-3 fifth hole, he hit it into one of the deep bunkers fronting the green. He couldn’t convert the 4-foot par putt after playing a delicate shot from the sand. It was his first miss from inside 10 feet of the week.
Of his six missed greens this week, four have come on par-3s.
Woods was under par for the first time Friday after a birdie on No. 11, where he wedged to 2 feet from 93 yards.
He made a nice par save at the 15th hole, getting up-and-down from 75 yards after driving into the rough on the 515-yard, par-4. That preceded his third birdie of the day. Despite driving into a divot in the 16th fairway, he reached the green in two with a fairway wood. He two-putted for birdie.
Woods then pushed his tee shot on the par-3 17th into a bunker before three-putting the last hole.
“That round today was easily 6, 7-under par,” he said. “It turned into even par which is not what I needed to do today.”