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Tiger Woods struggles, still makes cut on the number at Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio -- His driver betrayed him again Friday, and despite a phenomenal putting round, Tiger Woods had to sweat out making the 36-hole cut at the Memorial.

Woods appeared safely in until he misfired on the closing three holes at Muirfield Village Golf Club, bogeying the par-3 16th and adding another at the par-4 17th.

And when he missed the fairway at the par-4 18th -- which he double-bogeyed Thursday -- Woods made things even harder on himself, especially after his approach from 208 yards came up short of the green.

But Woods got it up and down from 40 yards -- converting a 6-foot par putt -- and made the cut for the 15th consecutive time at a tournament he has won five times.

"I need to put myself in position so those putts are to win tournaments, not to make the cut," he said.

Woods settled for a 2-under-par 70 and made the cut on the number at 1-under 143. Just like the Players Championship last month, Woods needed to convert a testy putt to play the weekend. There he finished in a tie for 69th. Here he is tied for 64th.

This is just Woods' fifth tournament of the year. He missed the cut at his season-opening event in Phoenix, withdrew the following week in San Diego after just 11 holes, then took nine weeks to work on his game.

He now has made three straight cuts, with a tie for 17th at the Masters but more Friday drama than he would care for at the past two events. He attributed that to not enough golf.

"Obviously I need to play more," said Woods, who has taken long breaks after the Masters and Players.

This is the first of six events over the next 11 weeks, including three major championships.

Woods is 11 shots off David Lingmerth's lead through two rounds, but considering where he has hit the ball off the tee, the five-time Memorial winner has no business contending.

He is 119th out of 120 players in driving accuracy, having hit just nine through two rounds. And he's 115th in greens in regulation, having hit just 17 -- and only eight on Friday.

Putting was the difference, as Woods needed just 24 putts officially (he made one from off a green), 1-putting the first five greens. He made five birdies and three bogeys.

"Obviously displeased with the way I drove it," he said. "I didn't drive it very good again. I kept spinning the ball. I have to go fix that.

"But the putting was great today. I had a great feel for the pace. Even the putts I missed had that kind of 'go in' look, and they were right around the hole."

Woods spent considerable time, nearly two hours, on the driving range after Thursday's round with his instructor, Chris Como, trying to work out the issues in his long game. He was on the range again with Como early Friday evening.

He complained about a two-way miss during the first round, and while it wasn't as pronounced Friday, he still had several wide misses.

"We're making progress," Woods said. "Progress, however slow, is still progress, and I'm creeping up on it. But I need to put a few more pieces together to really, really get it going."

Woods started quickly, 1-putting the first five greens, and he had three birdies to get inside the cutline. He added birdies at the 12th and 14th holes.

But poor drives led to his bogeys at the 10th and17th holes, and he launched his tee shot over the green at the par-3 16th, setting up another bogey. He failed to birdie any of the par-5s for the round and hit just five fairways after hitting only four Thursday.

To highlight his struggles: When Woods won the Memorial in 2009, he hit all 14 fairways during a final-round 65 and hit 49 of 56 for the week. At this pace, he'll struggle to get to 14 fairways through three rounds.

"I feel like today I made some progress from yesterday," he said. "And now I need to work on it again and I'll make some progress tomorrow. And keep doing that and hopefully it will all come together this weekend.

"And if not, two weeks from now."

That's the U.S. Open, where it appears a lot more work will be necessary if he is to be a factor there.