LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods, playing in an official PGA Tour event for the first time in more than seven months, is likely to be around for the weekend at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club.
Woods, who hosts the event that benefits his foundation, carded a 3-over 74 in the second round Friday. With a 36-hole total of 1-over par, Woods was on the cut line and tied for 60th when play was suspended due to darkness at 8:39 pm ET. The top 65 and ties will advance to play the final two rounds.
There were 14 golfers still on the course when play was stopped. Seven still have an outside shot of reaching even par; six of those seven would have to do so to bump Woods and the rest of the players at +1 off the cut.
Play will resume around 10:10 am Saturday. The third round will start on split trees.
After shooting an even-par 36 on his first nine holes, Woods had bogeys on three of his last four in the second round. A day earlier, he birdied each of his last three holes to card a 2-under 69.
“I didn’t putt well today, I blocked a lot of putts early and this is probably the highest score I could have shot today,” Woods said. “Probably should have shot probably 5 or 6 better than this easily. Just didn’t make the putts early and the middle part of the round when I had those opportunities. And they weren’t very hard putts, I just hit bad putts and obviously had a very bad finish, too.”
Woods’ surgically repaired right leg and right foot seemed to hold up under the stress of playing 18 holes in consecutive days.
If Woods makes the cut, it will be the first time he has played four rounds in an official PGA Tour event since he finished 47th at the Masters in April. That was his first official event after he was seriously injured in a car wreck outside Los Angeles in February 2021.
The 15-time major champion played in just nine rounds in three major championships last season. He was forced to withdraw after 54 holes at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills because of pain in his right leg. Woods missed the cut at the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews in July, which was the last time he had teed it up in an official event before this week.
Woods, 47, complained about having pain in his surgically repaired right ankle after Thursday’s opening round. He had about 14 hours to recover and said he was going to get plenty of ice, treatment and rest before returning to Riviera early Friday morning. Temperatures were in the high 40s when he teed off on No. 10, again with his good friends Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, at 10:24 am ET.
Woods’ putting looked rusty early in the second round. He missed four putts within 10 feet in the first nine holes. After making the turn, he missed another 9-footer for birdie on No. 1.
“I just blocked them, they were just bad putts,” Woods said. “They were not very hard, good reads. I brought Joey [caddie Joe LaCava] in on a couple of them and I just hit bad putts. So I could have easily got off to a very hot start and I didn’t, and then middle part of the round I could have turned it around a little bit and I didn’t.”
Woods’ putter got hot from there, however, after he missed the green on each of the next three holes. Woods made putts of 10 feet and 5 feet to save par on Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, and sank another 10-footer for par on the 4th.
Woods caught an unfortunate break on the par-3 sixth hole. His tee shot landed on the green but rolled back and stopped below a greenside bunker. He considered chipping off the green but elected to putt. His putt wasn’t nearly hard enough and rolled into the bunker. He was able to get up and down, making a 5-footer for bogey.
“If I chipped it up on top, there’s a chance that it could actually come back to the front part of the green,” Woods said. “I was actually trying to hit my putt over to where [Justin Thomas] was and the hill caught it more than I thought it would and ended up in a bunker. I mean, I was trying to give myself a chance at making par and at worst bogey. So realistically I had two bad calls on the wind on six and nine and ended up costing me 2 shots there.”
Woods made another bogey on the par-4 eighth hole after his tee shot landed in a fairway bunker and his third shot landed over the green. On the ninth, his last hole, his second shot landed in a greenside bunker and he couldn’t get up and down.
The highlight of Woods’ round came on the par-3 14th. He hit his tee shot to 10 inches for an easy birdie putt. After carding consecutive pars, Woods made another birdie on the par-5 17th. He shot an even-par 36 on the back nine, his first nine holes of the round.
For the second straight round, Woods struggled with his accuracy off the tees and hit only five of 14 fairways. He only hit six Thursday. Woods was more efficient with his iron play and work around the green, but he lost almost 2 strokes to the field in putting during his round.