‘Golf Emperor’ Tiger Woods (USA) struggled through the cut at the PGA Tour Genesis Invitational (total prize money of 20 million dollars), his comeback match after 7 months.
On the 18th (Korean time), on the second day of the tournament held at the Riviera Country Club (par 71) in Pacific Palisades, California, USA, Woods lost 3 strokes with 2 birdies and 5 bogeys, and tied for 60th with a median total of 1 over par 143. With a record, he advanced to the final round with a pull-up.
Woods, who started from the 10th hole at 7:24 a.m. local time in the chilly weather, missed short par putts in the 12th and 13th holes and made consecutive bogeys, forgetting the points he had earned on the first day. Afterwards, Woods, who finished the first half with even par with birdies on holes 14 and 17, lost 3 strokes by pouring out 3 bogeys in the 6th, 8th and 9th holes in the second half.
However, regardless of whether he passed the cut or not, Woods’ performance in his return match after 7 months is phenomenal. At the age of 47, with a body that has undergone countless surgeries on his back, knees and ankles, he has shown an inexplicable ability to surpass existing long hitters Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) and Justin Thomas (USA) in distance.
“Woods swings fast enough and hits it far, and he does everything he wants,” said McIlroy, who played rounds one and two. Another companion, Thomas, watched Woods make three birdies in a row on holes 16 to 18 on the first day, and then shook his head as a sign of joy. Regarding this, Trevor Immelman commented, “It is the same reaction that players who have played with Woods for the past 30 years have shown.”
The sluggishness in round 2 is closely related to putting. On the first day he failed to putt 2.7m on the 10th hole, 1.2m on the 11th hole and 1.5m on the 16th hole. After the match, Woods said, “My putt was not good today. If I had followed the putting, I could have reduced 5 or 6 strokes today.” Behind his confidence was an iron shot. In hole 14 (par 3), he put his tee shot right next to the hole and caught a birdie close to hole-in-one. 안전놀이터
Despite finishing the second round bogey-bogey, Woods advanced to the weekend round. If his right leg can hold up to the 72nd hole, it will turn on the green light to participate in the Masters, the first major tournament of the season with less than 50 days left. Woods has won only five Masters out of his 15 major wins.
Max Homa (USA) cut 3 more strokes to record a median total of 10 under par, 132 strokes, ahead of John Rahm (Spain), Keith Mitchell, and Lee Hodges (USA), who are tied for second place, by one stroke. McIlroy, who is aiming to recapture the world ranking, reduced two strokes to tie for seventh place with a median total of 6 under par 136 strokes.
Lim Seong-jae reduced two strokes two days in a row and tied for 12th place with a median total of 4 under par and 138 strokes. Kim Joo-hyung reduced one stroke to rank in a tie for 33rd with a median total of 1 under par and 141 strokes, and Kim Seong-hyun tied for 51st with a median total of even par and 142 strokes. However, Kim Si-woo, Lee Kyung-hoon, and Kim Young-soo were pushed out of the top 100 and were eliminated from the preliminary round.