For Tiger Woods, Torrey Pines used to be a place that solely defined some of his greatest moments. However, the more recent chapters of Woods’ story at the San Diego courses are ones of disappointment and embarrassment.
Woods missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday, shooting a second round of even-par 72 on the easier, and recently renovated, North Course. His 4-over two-round total, however, will have him miss a cut on the PGA Tour for just the 16th time in his career.
“It’s frustrating not to be able to have the chance to win the tournament,” Woods said. “Overall, today was a lot better than yesterday. I hit it better, I putted well again, I hit a lot of good putts that didn’t go in, but I hit it much better today. … I made a couple little tweaks and changes in my setup, which was good.”
Woods was better, finding 10 of 14 fairways after struggling to hit just four in the opening round on the bunker-lined South Course. However, Woods also admitted the ring rust of having not played competitive golf since August 2015 led to some strategic mistakes that could have been prevented.
“Playing tournament golf is a little bit different than playing at home in a cart,” Woods said of his pre-tournament preparation in Florida. “I need to get more rounds under my belt.”
This week marked Woods’ return to the PGA Tour after a pair of back surgeries following a mind-bogglingly poor 2015 for the 14-time major winner, including withdrawing from this tournament with an injury that introduced the term “glute activation” to the public. Torrey Pines is also site of Woods’ finest hour, winning his 14th and, to date, final major championship on one leg, beating Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole playoff for the 2008 U.S. Open.
The good memories at Torrey Pines were little help on Thursday, when Woods shot a 4-over 76 which forced him to go low Friday to make the cut. After opening his second round with a birdie on the par-5 10th, Woods was unable to build momentum, making one more birdie, two bogeys and the rest pars.
That left him four strokes back of the cutline of even-par 144, with a crowded weekend field slated for the final two rounds on Torrey Pines’ South Course. It’s not consolation for Woods, but his playing partners for the first two rounds, world No. 1 Jason Day (+3) and defending U.S. Open champ and the third-ranked player in the world Dustin Johnson (+2), also missed the cut.
If there is any solace for Woods, it’s that his back held up, he showed flashes of brilliance with the short game amid frustrating driver play and some uncharacteristic hiccups.
Woods will be back at it next week at the Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates, then will take a week off before returning stateside to compete in the Genesis Open in Los Angeles, a tournament he will be hosting, before competing in the Honda Classic near his Florida home in Jupiter.
Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.