Sports Lynch: Far off the pace, Tiger Woods relegated to ceremonial role on the weekend

08:10  15 february  2020
08:10  15 february  2020 Source:   golfweek.com

Woods 5 back of Kuchar's lead after opening-round 69 at Riviera

  Woods 5 back of Kuchar's lead after opening-round 69 at Riviera Tiger Woods couldn't maintain his hot start, but the man chasing his 83rd career win remains in the mix after firing an opening-round 69 on Thursday at the Genesis Invitational. Tiger is currently T17, five strokes back of Matt Kuchar, who holds a three-shot advantage after he scorched Riviera with an impressive 64. Woods eagled his first hole of the day and added two birdies on the front nine to post a 31 at the turn, but lost control off the tee on the back and posted a 2-over 38 to finish his day.Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard after Day 1. The entire list of scores can be seen here. Woods will tee off at 10:16 a.m.

Tiger Woods on the first green during the first round of the Masters on Thursday. Woods refused to let himself unravel. Not on the first hole, where he salvaged par after pulling his drive into the And not on the holes of Amen Corner, where his wayward shots splashed in water, caromed off a patron and

Golf would relish a Tiger Woods renaissance, which the 14-times major champion, against all odds, reckons is still plausible.

  Lynch: Far off the pace, Tiger Woods relegated to ceremonial role on the weekend © Provided by Golfweek

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — It’s part of the honor of being the tournament host — but an indignity as a player — that Tiger Woods is guaranteed to be present at Sunday’s trophy presentation at the Genesis Invitational, and almost as certain to leave it empty-handed.

The 82-time winner on the PGA Tour has hoisted many a piece of silverware in such ceremonies, but this weekend he seems fated to again play the part of the man handing over the prize and not the one receiving it. Woods is far off the pace at Riviera Country Club after a second-round 73, a middling performance that ensured only that he’ll have two more rounds to help kill time before presiding over Sunday’s closing ceremony.

Tiger Woods collapses down the stretch, finishes last at Genesis Invitational

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— The most remarkable aspect of Tiger Woods ’s comeback isn’t how quickly his ball-striking rounded into shape after two years of relative inactivity or how well he handled the crucible of contending after being sidelined for so long. Woods , 42, could have limped off the main stage with his legacy secure.

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“I’m going to have to make birdies if I want to win this event. I’m so far back right now, virtually, about 50 guys ahead of me, 40 guys ahead of me,” Woods said. “I’m going to have to make some birdies this weekend. Hopefully I can get off to a quick start like I did last year.”

Genesis Invitational: Best photos | Leaderboard

Eight shots off the lead when he finished, Woods seems unlikely to get that longed-for first win at a course where he debuted as a 16-year-old amateur in 1992. Asked earlier this week to account for his 0-for-13 drought, Woods said, “I have historically never really putted well here.” Like his winless run, that streak continued Friday as he ranked close to last in Strokes Gained Putting, losing more than two shots to the field on the greens.

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Tiger Woods , teeing off during a practice round at Carnoustie, likes his chances in the British But Woods , whose last major championship was 10 years ago, is not buoyed on the eve of this Maybe firm fairways will only send Woods ’s tee shots farther afield this weekend . That could be a problem.

Bullish Tiger Woods has no intention of becoming a ceremonial golfer | Ewan Murray. Essentially his father verbally abused his son on the driving range with Woods able to use a code word if he felt Woods is rueful at the alterations made to Augusta, the byproduct of how far golfers now hit the ball.

None of his other statistical indicators offered much comfort either. He drove the ball better in the second round and hit 9 of 14 fairways, but failed miserably to capitalize. Having ranked No. 1 in Strokes Gained Approach the Green in the first round — gaining almost 3.5 strokes on the field — he was outside the top 100 in the second round, an uncomfortable rank in a 120-man event.

Woods missed 10 greens, and couldn’t capitalize on the occasions when he did find the target, requiring 15 putts for those 8 greens in regulation. “I was not sharp today,” the reigning Masters champion said. “I just could not get the ball close enough to the hole to give myself good putts. And then when I did, I was in the wrong spots, I was above the hole and had to putt pretty defensively.”

His day began promisingly with a birdie on his opening hole (the 10th) but an ugly double-bogey on the 15th derailed him, and three more bogeys in a four-hole stretch on his second nine quelled any hope of a revival. It has been 21 years since Woods threatened to win at Riviera — the last of his two second-place finishes — but he refused to attribute his performance through 36 holes to his current host duties.

Tiger: Golf has evolved, 'we're running out of property'

  Tiger: Golf has evolved, 'we're running out of property' The USGA and R&A released their Distance Insights Project last week, in which the sport's two governing bodies outlined the effects of ever-increasing distances on the PGA Tour and said those changes are moving golf "in the wrong direction." Tiger Woods spoke Tuesday about the issue. "To see the technology advance as fast as it has, the average distance was - when I first came out on Tour - if you could carry it 270, it took a lot of trouble out of play," Woods said ahead of this week's Genesis Invitational. "Now, guys are hitting their hybrids and 5-woods 270 in the air. So the game has evolved and it's changed, and we're running out of property.

Tiger Woods has pulled out the Dubai Desert Classic, the fifth time he has withdrawn in his past 19 tournaments, to leave Bullish Tiger Woods has no intention of becoming a ceremonial golfer | Ewan Murray. We had TV towers that the roofs were blown off . We had balls moving on the greens, one

For Tiger Woods , winning his next major might not be that far off . Fifty years from now, when future generations of sports fans look back on the remarkable comeback of Tiger Woods from debilitating injury and personal scandal, they’ll certainly talk about how he dramatically won again in 2018.

“It’s not the first tournament I’ve hosted. I’ve been doing this for a very long time,” he said. “They’re challenging weeks in themselves, talking to the staff and sponsors and different obligations that a tournament host has. I’ve been involved in events, jeez, since ’99, so been doing this a very long time and this is no different.”

Woods may not be the only man in the field handling distractions. There have been widespread rumblings throughout the week about the proposed Premier Golf League splinter tour. A meeting Tuesday night at the nearby home of a Middle Eastern financier drew agents for most top stars and seven PGA Tour players, though Woods was not among those present. Outwardly, he remains focused on this week, this leaderboard.

But with more than three-dozen players standing between him and the lead — including world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Jon Rahm and defending champion J.B. Holmes — he will need to conjure something like the 65 he produced in the third round last year to stand any chance of contending. “I just need to clean it up,” Woods admitted. “But I’m now pretty far back and I have to make a lot of birdies this weekend.”

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Tiger Woods plays one of his three ceremonial tee shots at Congressional; all of them ended up in the water. Woods looked disappointed after the awkward moment which appeared to show he is far from full fitness. On the par-three 10th hole, he chunked his first attempt into the pond short of the green

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