Tame Tiger just can’t crack the Riviera Riddle, because Woods falls out of the discussion about the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles
- Tiger Woods is out of step during the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles
- Justin Rose and Adam Scott impressed the Riviera Golf Course on day two
- The Australian Scott hit four birdies in the last six holes and sat on six under par
Mark it as another day in Riviera, when the mysteries of this majestic course turned out to be even more than even the great Tiger Woods.
Halfway through the Genesis Invitational the dream of a record 83rd PGA Tour victory entered the realm of the unlikely, the balance has tipped considerably to a 13th appearance here without a victory instead of a celebrated first triumph.
Woods said in the run-up that over the years he had had too many bad pit days to win – and here was another because he cost three costly short ones who came home to come out of the fight with a double par 73.
Tiger Woods got into a two-over par 73 during the Genesis Invitational quarrel
Add a few bewildering poor short iron beats and, at par level for two rounds, he needs a score today in the mid-sixties just to have a chance in the final round.
Instead, it was the underlying group that seized the opportunity to get into position. Their number included Justin Rose, who shot his second straight 69 to stand on four-under par.
Last year this time, Rose was number 1 in the world – he is now 10th – and this was more like the Englishman, who struggled with his ball attack last year.
Meanwhile, Justin Rose shot a second consecutive 69 to stand on four-under par
Also part of the group was Jon Rahm, who needs a win here to move Rory McIlroy – an afternoon starter yesterday – as world No. 1 and meant his intention with a 68 to sit next to Rose at four under.
Then there was defending champion JB Holmes, who shot a 69 to join the European duo. Under the morning wave, no one passed the seven under total of the first-round pacemaker Matt Kuchar, who was out late. Kang Sung-hoon briefly joined him on top of the leaderboard, but a bogey on par par 16th saw the Korean course one by one.
With him in the clubhouse at six under was Australian Adam Scott, who birdied four of the last six holes for a stunning 64.
Adam Scott hit four birdies in the last six holes to register an impressive 64
The sun was not nearly up when Woods arrived on the track before 6 am for his starting time at 7.16 am. Temporary floodlights illuminated the training that turned green at the clubhouse while the tournament army was warming up.
By the time he reached the 10th tee – his starting hole – about 300 hardy souls had braved the hardships of the busy 405 highway to encourage him. Just like on the first day, Woods started quickly with a birdie on the 10th.
For example, a number of pleasant shots started that one day hinted at a horror hit from the 15th from scratch.
Despite a promising start, Woods struggled to fall off the pace in the last three holes
The challenge of this hole is usually in the tee-shot, but Woods faded a driver along the fairway bunker to leave himself only 140 meters to the hole – a green light, you would think, for a birdie occasion.
What followed panted from his audience. The ball barely flew 120 meters and stopped in the face of a bunker on the green side. From there he played over the green and eventually missed a 6 ft putt for a bogey. Just so much good work undone.
Woods had at least two par fives to rectify the damage and he birdied both the hard way with two good up and down. Again, the progress turned out to be an illusion, however, as he missed three short putts in four holes.