AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods rattled through the litany of poor shots that he hit Friday, the ones that put him closer to the cut line than to contention at the Masters.
He didn't warm up well, and the difficulty continued from there, leading to a score of 3-over 75 and an early Saturday tee time.
But unlike the old days, when Woods came to Augusta National -- or any tournament -- expecting to win, he paused to offer the perspective that has been missing for much of his career.
"Six months ago, I didn't know if I'd be playing golf,'' Woods said after finishing 36 holes at 4-over par and in a tie for 40th -- 13 strokes back of leader Patrick Reed. "Forget playing at the [PGA] Tour level. I didn't know if I'd ever be playing again.
"But it's incredible to have the opportunity again, to still come out here and play this golf course. Now I know I'm onto the weekend. Even though I'm a lot behind, if I play a special weekend, shoot two rounds in the mid-60s, you never know.''
Woods has been a victim of heightened expectations -- including his own -- in the wake of a strong comeback this year from spinal fusion surgery. He had top-5 finishes at his past two events and looked solid in practice leading up to the tournament he has won four times.
But he has managed just five birdies through two rounds (Reed had nine in his round Friday), has twice hit it in the water at the 12th hole, had to take an unplayable lie at the fifth on Friday and has gone nine straight major rounds shooting over par.
No one has come from more than eight shots back through 36 holes to win the Masters, so Woods might rather view the weekend as a chance to enjoy the scenery -- though it's supposed to rain all day Saturday -- and climb the leaderboard.
Things began ominously for Woods, 42, when he missed the green from 94 yards after a perfect drive at the first hole, leading to a bogey. At the second, after having to punch down the fairway when his tee shot hit a tree, he again had fewer than 100 yards to the hole and failed to hit it close. At the third, he nearly drove the green and hit a nice chip that rolled out to 7 feet but missed the birdie putt.
And on it went.
"I hit my irons awful today,'' he said. "I didn't control my distance, my shape, spins. I left myself in bad spots. The only good iron shot I hit today all day was at 4. And the wind laid down, and I hit over the fifth tee [behind the green]. That kind of summed up the whole day. And a lot of beautiful putts and didn't make anything.''
At the fifth, Woods hit his drive in the right rough, then pulled his approach left and over the green into a wooded area from where he had to take an unplayable lie. He was fortunate to get a shot out into a bunker and got it up and down for a double-bogey.
It was his first score at Augusta National worse than a bogey since the second round of the 2013 tournament, when he was penalized for an improper drop on the 15th hole and made an eight.
Woods then made six straight pars before again finding water at the 12th, getting up and down for bogey. At the 13th, he found the green in 2 and made his first birdie of the day and first of the tournament on a par-5. He also birdied the par-5 15th but putted too strongly from over the green at the 16th for another bogey.
The 75 was his highest score at the Masters since a second-round 75 in 2014.
"I know what I need to do. I'm just not doing it,'' he said. "I need to do a better job of it tomorrow. If I can drive like I did today, feeling-wise, and hit those shots, give myself a chance, and if I clean up my iron play. I'm hitting so many beautiful putts, right around the hole. So if I get off to a quick start and get it rolling, get some momentum going ... which I haven't had so far.''