Rory and Tiger reflect after round two at Farmers

US Tour

Rory McIlroy was delighted with his bounce-back round of 65 at the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday, while Tiger Woods was once again left frustrated by his performance on the greens.

Making his 2019 debut at Torrey Pines, Woods had to be content with a second successive round of two-under-par 70 that left him a full 11 shots behind World No 1 Justin Rose at the top of the leaderboard.

Starting from the 10th on the easier North Course, Woods did get two birdies to drop at the 10th and 17th, but gave both shots back with a double-bogey at the 18th after a horrible plugged lie in a greenside bunker.

That left him needing a solid front nine to make the cut, and while back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth (the latter after a superb chip-in from the fringe) did help him get back on track, he had to settle for pars all the way home – including on the two par-5s which were there for the taking.

“That could have been a lot, lot lower but I just didn’t make anything,” said a disappointed Tiger afterwards. “I hit a lot of good putts that just didn’t go in. If some of those drop, then I could have easily been five or six under par.

“After the back-to-back birdies at three and four, I had two par-fives left and a driveable par-four. I figured I could claw my way back into it if I could birdie those holes, but I didn’t do that.

“I’m pretty far back now, and I’m going to have to play a special weekend to have a chance. The South Course is tough, and the way the guys like Rosey are playing right now, they are taking it to the course.

“That’s not easy to do on the South, but they’re doing it right now so hopefully I can do the same on the weekend.”

In contrast, McIlroy enjoyed a much better second-round performance after his lackluster opening 71, going six shots better with a classy 65 that included eagles at the par-5 10th and par-4 16th, where he holed out from the fairway thanks to a perfect wedge.

“It’s always nice to start with three perfect shots on my first hole,” said McIlroy. “I played a great nine holes there and got myself right back in the tournament.

“I played really well yesterday on the South Course, and I played much better than my 71 suggested. So I knew I just needed to go out today and play the same, stay patient and hole a few putts.

“After playing my first nine holes in five under it was very hard to not have expectations of shooting 62 or 63. It was about staying patient, hitting good shots and giving myself chances.

“It felt like I was standing still for a bit on my back nine, but it was good to birdie two of the last three. That birdie on the last capped off a really nice day.”

Despite his second-round comeback, McIlroy still finds himself eight behind leader Rose, with a lot of work to do over the weekend.

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