LA JOLLA, California, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Tiger Woods was in danger of missing the cut in his PGA Tour comeback as he stood two over par halfway through the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday.
With the cut for the top 70 players projected to fall at one-under, Woods headed to his back nine on the Torrey Pines North course needing to pick up at least three strokes to qualifying for the weekend.
After a respectable even-par 72 on the South course on Thursday, Woods suffered second-day blues on another magnificent winter’s morning next to the Pacific Ocean.
A double-bogey at the par-four 13th, where he hooked his drive into a hazard and had to take a penalty stroke, blemished his round.
His driving was all over the place. He missed five of seven fairways, many times by wide margins, though he hit some good recovery shots and demonstrated a fairly sharp short game.
The event is the 42-year-old Woods’ first official tournament appearance since undergoing a fusion of his lower spine last April.
Torrey Pines has been a happy hunting ground. He has won here eight times, seven times at the PGA Tour event and most notably at the 2008 U.S. Open, where he annexed his 14th major championship, a total he has not added to in the past decade.
Woods began his round at the 10th tee and the media came to his rescue on his first hole when he pulled his tee shot at the par-five hole so far left that it ended up behind the media center adjacent to the fairway.
Woods was granted a very advantageous free drop from the “temporary immovable obstruction” and was able to gouge his second shot to near the green and, ultimately, made an easy par.
A large gallery followed his every shot, most in hope of seeing the Tiger of old emerge, but they were still waiting to see his first birdie after nine holes.
Atop the leaderboard, American Ryan Palmer led at nine-under after 11 holes, one stroke ahead of Spanish defending champion Jon Rahm (10 holes) and American Tony Finau (nine holes).
Editing by Gene Cherry