Nightmare round for Tiger in Phoenix

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It went from bad to worse for Tiger Woods at the Phoenix Open on Friday, as he crashed to the worst round in the history of his professional career.

The former World No 1 didn’t exactly set the world alight with his two-over-par 73 on Thursday, but no one could have guessed what was to come – an 11-over-par 82 that left him dead last in the 132-man field midway through the second round.

Starting from the 10th on a gloomy and rainy day at TPC Scottsdale, Woods played his first four holes in one over after a bogey at the par-four 11th, but it was the double blow on the 14th and 15th that really set him back.

Woods hooked left off the tee on 14 and had to take a drop after finding an unplayable lie. His third shot was short of the green and so was the following chip, as he racked up a double-bogey six.

Heading to the 15th, Woods found the water and was still in the bunker after four shots on the par five. His fifth cleared the green and another duffed chip followed as he eventually two-putted for a triple-bogey eight.

There was to be no recovery for Woods after he dropped those five shots. After a brilliant up and down for par gave the massive galleries something to cheer about on 16, two more bogeys followed at 17 and 18, as his short game let him down once again. A poor approach at 18 also did little to help matters.

That meant the 14-time major winner took 44 shots on the back nine – equal to his worst ever compiled at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in 2013.

Things didn’t get much better after the turn. His second double bogey of the day followed at the fourth, and though he finally carded birdie at the par-four fifth, it was followed by two more bogeys at six and seven.

Another birdie at eight would have given him hope of avoiding the worst round of his career, but he couldn’t avoid a closing bogey at 18 as he signed for an 82, eclipsing his former lowest point – an 81 made in hideous weather conditions at the 2002 British Open.

The round has raised serious questions about the state of Woods’ game following a season of multiple injuries, lengthy lay-offs and back surgery.

The missed cut is also a big blow to tournament organisers, who would no doubt have been banking on Tiger being around as one of the main draws for a rowdy and raucous Super Bowl weekend.

“We all have days like this,” Woods said after his round. “Unfortunately, mine was in a public forum. We take the good with the bad.

“I’ve got to keep things in perspective, sometimes it’s difficult to do that,” he added. “I’ve got to continue with the process. I’ve been here before. It wasn’t too long ago that I changed my swing with Sean (Foley).

“I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Woods will be back in action for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and will be eager to put this nightmare round behind him and bounce back quickly.

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