(Express) Woods, who won the last of his three Claret Jugs the last time the Open was staged at Hoylake in 2006, heads into today’s second round of the Quicken Loans National flirting with the cut line at three over par.
With no other appearances scheduled before The Open on July 17, Woods had banked on playing four rounds in the PGA Tour event but he has put himself under pressure with his slow start.
His opening 74 would have been worse but for a late rally which brought three birdies in his last six holes.
The main positive for Woods – and domestic golf fans wanting to catch him at Royal Liverpool – was that the World No 5 reported no ill effects from the back surgery which has kept him out of the season’s first two Majors.
“The back is great. No issues at all. No twitches or nothing. That’s why I let it go with a couple of drives,” said Woods.
“The hard part was getting into the rhythm of playing again. You play with your buddies all day for cash and stuff but it’s just not the same as tournament golf. It’s a different level. “I was trying to get the feel but that didn’t start happening until mid-way through my front nine.”