(Reuters) - Tiger Woods blamed his inability to adjust to slow greens for another mediocre putting performance in the second round at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina on Friday.
Woods missed five putts from inside 10 feet and flirted with missing the cut before scraping through with a two-over-par 73 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte.
A 13-foot birdie at his final hole was by far the longest putt he sank all day.
“I’m on a hot streak right now. I made the last putt,” he said after posting a two-over 144 halfway total that left him nine strokes behind halfway leader Peter Malnati.
The huge gallery that had turned up early to watch the 14-times major champion groaned almost in unison as Woods missed a four-footer and a couple of six-footers.
Not only did he squander a handful of excellent birdie chances several of them did not even threaten the hole.
“I’ve struggled with the greens being as slow as they are,” Woods told reporters.
“Yesterday I was blocking them; today I was pulling them trying to hit them harder ... and release the toe of my putter and I just wasn’t doing it right.
“I’ve had ample time to make the adjustment and I haven’t.”
Playing a full schedule again this year after a successful spinal fusion in April 2017, Woods appeared to be getting his game back on track when he contended for victory twice in Florida on the PGA Tour in March.
Despite ultimately falling short both times, he entered the U.S. Masters last month as one of the favourites but was never a factor as he tied for 32nd.
He blamed mediocre iron play for his lacklustre performance at Augusta, and has put a new set of irons — his own signature brand — into the bag this week.
It was his putting, not his iron shots, that he planned to practise on Friday afternoon.
“I’m going to do some work, to get some more hit in the stroke,” he said. “I have to trust it.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherfordpeter.firstname.lastname@example.org; +822 3704 5698 ReutersMessaging: email@example.com