Tiger Woods struggles to make headway in unlikely bid to make Open cut

The former champion remained six over par early in his second round
Tiger Woods struggles to make headway in unlikely bid to make Open cut

Phil Casey, PA Golf Correspondent

Tiger Woods continued to face an uphill battle to avoid missing the cut in the Open for just the fourth time in his career on Friday.

The winner at St Andrews in both 2000 and 2005, Woods struggled to an opening 78 and calculated that he needed a second-round 66 to make the weekend, a score he last achieved in a major in the 2018 US PGA.

A par on the first was a two-shot improvement from Thursday, when his approach had to be played from a fairway divot and plunged into the Swilcan Burn, while a first birdie of the day soon arrived from 28 feet on the third.

However, Woods then three-putted from long range on the fourth and, although his approach to the next finished just a few feet from the flag, it was unfortunately the flag for the 13th hole on the enormous double green.

Faced with a putt of 45 yards, Woods unsurprisingly left his eagle attempt short and could not convert the birdie putt either to remain six over.

At the other end of the leaderboard, American Talor Gooch, who has attracted ridicule for comparing the atmosphere at the second LIV Golf event to the Ryder Cup, had moved within a shot of the lead held by compatriot Cameron Young.

Gooch birdied the first, third and 14th to improve to seven under par, with world number one Scottie Scheffler, two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, England’s Tyrrell Hatton and South Korea’s Si Woo Kim all six under.

Hatton had thrown his ball into the Swilcan Burn in disgust after missing a birdie attempt on the first, but made amends by picking up shots on the sixth, seventh, ninth and 10th.

Former winner Mark Calcavecchia had hit the opening shot of day two at 6.35am in his final Open appearance.

The 62-year-old is beyond the age limit of 60 for former champions, but was given an exemption due to suffering from an injury in 2021 and the Open being cancelled in 2020.

Calcavecchia, who lifted the Claret Jug at Troon in 1989, struggled to an opening 83 and fared only one shot better on Friday to prop up the field on 21 over par.

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