Tiger Woods fires 70 at Torrey Pines to comfortably make cut

SAN DIEGO -- The low round he needed didn't materialize Friday at Torrey Pines, meaning an early Saturday tee time for Tiger Woods and too much ground to cover for an eighth PGA Tour title at one of his favorite venues.

It wasn't for lack of trying.

Woods gave himself numerous opportunities to turn his score of 2-under-par 70 during the Farmers Insurance Open into something special, but he either didn't get putts to drop or failed to take advantage of favorable situations.

He finished 36 holes at 140, 4 under par, but was 11 shots back of No. 1-ranked Justin Rose, the 36-hole leader, and tied for 48th among the 77 players to make the cut. First-round leader Jon Rahm followed a 62 with a 72 on the South Course and is tied for third, five shots back of Rose.

The 36-hole cut came at 141, 3 under par.

"It could have been a lot lower than that," Woods said of his score. "I didn't make anything today. I hit a lot of good putts that just didn't go in, they're just lipping out. Those putts go in and it's a round of 5, 6 under par easily."

Woods also struggled to get the ball closer on birdie holes such as the short par-4 seventh, where he hit his tee shot over the green, and at the two back-nine par-5s.

He had good chances for birdies at the 11th and 13th holes, his second and fourth holes of the day, and made an ugly double-bogey at his ninth hole -- the 18th -- when he missed the green with an 8-iron and his ball plugged in a greenside bunker.

"I still had two par-5s left ahead of me and a drivable seventh hole, so I was just trying to claw my way back into it,'' Woods said. "I figured if I could make birdies on those holes, I get right back in this thing. I didn't do that and hence I'm pretty far back.''

Woods hit seven fairways and 13 of 18 greens but took 29 putts. At times during his comeback season in 2018, Woods struggled on the greens, although he characterized his problems Friday as part of what happens in golf and nothing mechanical.

"If I just continue hitting good putts, eventually they'll go in in boatloads," he said. "Just right now they're not going in. It's one thing to be searching for it, but at least I'm hitting good putts."

Woods briefly put himself on the 36-hole cutline bubble when he double-bogeyed his ninth hole, but birdies at the third and fourth (his 12th and 13th holes) had him in position for a finishing flourish that did not happen. He parred the remaining holes.

This is Woods' first tournament of 2019 and his first competition in more than seven weeks following the Hero World Challenge in late November. It's his first official PGA Tour event since he won his 80th title at the Tour Championship on Sept. 23.

Torrey Pines has been one of his favorite venues over the years and a place he has often started his season, but he's had little success since winning the Farmers for the seventh time in 2013. He finished 80th the following year, withdrew in 2015, did not play in 2016 and missed the cut in 2017. Last year, in his first official event in a year, he tied for 23rd.

"It's going to have to be a very low and special weekend to have a chance," Woods said. "Guys like [Rose] and [Rahm], a bunch of guys are going low on the South Course, which is not easy to do and they're taking it to it. And hopefully I can be one of those guys who do it tomorrow.''