(ESPN) LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tiger Woods missed the cut at a major for only the fourth time in his career, finishing Friday’s second round of the PGA Championship at 6-over-par on Friday.
Never did it look so bad.
Playing in obvious back pain, Woods was 15 strokes behind leader Rory McIlroy at Valhalla Golf Club. He played the front nine in 4-over 39, double-bogeying No. 6. Wayward tee shots on that hole, No. 7 and No. 10 all went into the crowd.
He made his first birdie of the day at No. 15, but followed that with a bogey before finishing his round with a tap-in birdie at No. 18.
It was just the 12th time in his career — and second this season — that he has missed a cut. Woods also didn’t advance to weekend play at the 2006 U.S. Open, 2009 Open Championship and the 2011 PGA Championship.
Things got so bad, it appeared he would withdraw after the ninth hole, which was near the parking lot where his courtesy car was located. But Woods, who did not make a birdie on the front nine and was 7-over at the time, kept going.
Woods, who underwent surgery to alleviate a pinched nerve in his back March 31, also withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last Sunday.
The 36-hole cut, which includes the top 70 players and ties, is estimated to come at 1-over 143.
Woods has now missed 12 cuts in his PGA Tour career, 11 worldwide. In the first event after his surgery, Woods missed the cut at the Quicken Loans National last month.
It’s just the second time in his career that Woods — who holds the PGA Tour record by making 142 consecutive cuts from 1998-2005 — has missed two cuts in the same season.
The last time he missed the cut at a major championship was at the 2011 PGA Championship, when the circumstances were similar. Woods was coming off a long injury break that year due to Achilles and knee problems, playing the Bridgestone and the PGA.
“We knew he did everything possible to get here,” PGA of American CEO Pete Bevacqua said during Woods’ round. “It’s obvious he’s in pain. We want Tiger to do what’s best for Tiger, what’s best for his health and his long-term career.
“He’s a superstar to say the least. And golf is better with Tiger Woods.”