Tiger Woods gets free drop

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tiger Woods never found his golf ball and didn't get a penalty. Ultimately, it might not even matter.

Woods was headed toward missing the cut Friday for only the eighth time in his career when he shot a 1-over 73. That put him at even-par 144 at a tournament where the cut was projected to be at least 1-under 143.

It would be the first time Woods missed the cut more than once at the same tournament.

The round was not without some drama. He pulled his approach on the par-5 fifth toward the trees, and it was never found. Spectators say they saw it land, and fans immediately surrounded it. But the ball vanished. Based on spectator evidence, a rules official determined a fan took the ball.