Tiger misses Quail Hollow cut
Charlotte - Tiger Woods crashed out at Quail Hollow on Friday, missing the cut for just the sixth time in his PGA Tour career as his golf became the news for the wrong reasons.
The world number one, playing just his second tournament since revelations of marital infidelity sent him into a five-month self-imposed exile, denied that he gave up as his score spiraled to a seven-over 79.
That gave him a nine-over total of 153 that saw him miss the cut by a shocking eight strokes as Monday qualifier Billy Mayfair took the halfway lead.
Woods has always seemed to give maximum effort on every shot, even when struggling.
But after hitting his second shot into a water hazard at the par-four 14th, en route to a double bogey, he began playing his subsequent shots in a matter or seconds, seemingly without any care.
"At that point in time it was pretty much out of reach and I was just trying to stay out of Angel's way," he said, referring to playing partner Angel Cabrera of Argentina who finished the day a stroke from the lead.
"He's the one leading the tournament and that's what you're supposed to do," Woods said. "I didn't play very well and, more importantly, I chipped poorly, putted poorly, but for the most part I didn't really hit the ball that poorly until the end.
"It does bother me, no doubt," he added of missing the cut.
"But at least I get the weekend to watch and see how it's done, how real players play golf. Hopefully I can piece it together for next week and be ready to go."
Woods, who hit only two fairways, most recently missed a cut at last year's British Open, and before then at the 2006 US Open.
Until Friday, he had not missed a cut at a regular PGA Tour event since 2005.
He was still in with a good chance of advancing to the weekend when he turned at two-over, but bogeys at the next three holes left him needing a late-round miracle.
However, it got worse after that as he ran up back-to-back double bogeys for only the second time of his professional career.
His dreadful performance will raise questions whether he is able to focus on golf while he tries to sort out his personal problems.
Woods had returned in the wake of the sex scandal that engulfed him last November to finished tied for fourth at the Masters earlier this month.
Access to the year's first major is strictly controlled, and Quail Hollow was his first tournament with public ticket sales.
Rumors are swirling that Woods's wife, Elin, is ready to file for divorce. He wasn't asked directly about that, but was quizzed as to whether the ongoing turmoil affected him on the course.
"Every day I do media, I get asked it, so it doesn't go away," he said. "Even when I'm at home paparazzi still follow us, helicopters still hover around," he said. "Does it test you? Yes, of course it does. Is that any excuse? No, because I'm out there and I have the same opportunity as everybody else here in this field to shoot a good number. And I didn't do it."
Woods has played 188 PGA Tour events with a cut - 241 in all - since turning professional in 1996. As well as his six missed cuts, he withdrew from the 1998 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am after two rounds - a tournament that has a 54-hole cut.
While Woods got the most attention, Mayfair quietly shot a second successive 68 to lead at eight-under 136.
The 43-year-old American has won five times on the PGA Tour but is no longer fully exempt.
Cabrera, one stroke behind after a 67, ignored the Woods' sideshow for his best round of the year.
"I've been working hard all year and waiting for a round like this and I haven't broken 70 (until now)," said last year's Masters champion
"I'm real close to being at the top of my game. I've had two great days. When the driver gets going good, that's when I really get playing good."
Masters champion Phil Mickelson (68) was among a group two strokes behind.
He felt weak on Thursday due to apparent food poisoning, but claimed he was almost back to full strength.
"I think for the weekend I should be 100 percent," Mickelson said.
Leading second round scores on Friday in the Quail Hollow Championship (USA unless noted):
136 - Billy Mayfair 68-68
137 - Angel Cabrera (ARG) 70-67
138 - Paul Goydos 68-70, JP Hayes 74-64, Dustin Johnson 73-65, Phil Mickelson 70-68
139 - JJ Henry 68-71, Camilo Villegas (COL) 67-72
140 - Jim Furyk 75-65, Tom Gillis 71-69, Garth Mulroy (RSA) 69-71, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS), Kevin Sutherland 72-68
141 - Robert Allenby (AUS) 71-70, Greg Chalmers (AUS) 70-71
142 - Trevor Immelman (RSA) 74-68
143 - Carlos Franco (PAR) 72-71, Jarrod Lyle (AUS) 71-72, Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 70-73
144 - Jason Day (AUS) 73-71, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 72-72, Andres Romero (ARG) 68-76 Aron Price (AUS) 75-69
145 - Stuart Appleby (AUS) 75-70, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 73-72, Henrik Bjornstad (NOR) 72-73, Ross Fisher (GBR) 72-73, Ryuji Imada (JPN) 74-71, Matt Jones (AUS) 74-71, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 72-73, Greg Owen (GBR) 74-71, Rod Pampling (AUS) 70-75, Carl Pettersson (SWE) 74-71, Lee Westwood (GBR) 73-72
Failed to qualify
146 - Alex Cejka (GER) 70-76, John Senden (AUS) 74-72, Tim Wilkinson (NZL) 72-74
147 - Brian Davis (GBR) 76-71, Martin Laird (GBR) 72-75, David Lutterus (AUS) 76-71
148 - Mathew Goggin (AUS) 73-75, Fredrik Jacobson (SWE) 77-71, James Nitties (AUS) 72-76, Cameron Percy (AUS) 69-79
149 - Nick O'Hern (AUS) 73-76, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 77-72
150 - Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 72-78
151 - Nathan Green (AUS) 77-74, Richard S. Johnson (SWE) 78-73, Adam Scott (AUS) 78-73
153 - Daniel Chopra (SWE) 76-77, Tiger Woods 74-79