Tiger Woods' move to the British Open was short-lived, as he was unable to respond to his poor performance on Thursday and remained in the bottom of the standings on Friday in St Andrews, Scotland.
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It's a tough ending for the 46-year-old golfer who has won the Claret Jug Trophy three times in the past, including twice at St Andrews on a course he loves. Not much worked for the American in the second round, and he had to settle for a 75 (3) card.
Cumulatively, Woods hit the ball 153 times (9) and dropped to 148th out of 156 athletes, nine strokes from the ax. He nevertheless received a standing ovation from the fervent amateurs on the 18th hole, before registering the par.
“Although disappointed to return home, I had an amazing week at St Andrews celebrating 150 years of history and the game we love. I would like to thank this place for all the memories it gave me and the fans who made me add to this list my passage to the 18th”, wrote Tiger on his Twitter account.
Still in trouble
His performance at the 16th pennant was fairly representative of his two days in Scotland, which is to say frustrating. On Thursday, Woods complained of being unlucky at times, and that's exactly what happened on the par-4 of the 16th. His second shot landed well away from the green, in a bunker. On his next shot, the ball made contact with the grass at the edge of the pit before returning to its original position.
Still struggling on the rapid greens of the Old Course, "the Tiger" had to accept a disastrous double bogey, his third in 36 holes.
Woods had his only birdie of the day at the third pennant, but he quickly erased that one by committing bogeys at the fourth and sixth. The rest of his round was marked by several ingenious shots, but also putts that he would no doubt like to see again.
Cameron Smith at the controls
Holder of the best card of the day, Cameron Smith took the lead of the competition by playing 64 (-8). The Aussie took his overall tally to -13 by birding six in the top 10 pennants and adding an eagle in the 14th.
He thus stole the first rank from the hands of the American Cameron Young, who experienced a drop in speed by hitting the ball 69 (-3) times. However, he remains in good shape to win thanks to his round of 64 on Thursday and is two shots behind on the head.
Rory McIlroy (68) and Viktor Hovland (66) are also at the height of the race, they who share third place at -10.
Corey Conners is the only Maple Leaf representative still in contention at St Andrews. He delivered a second consecutive 71 card and dropped to tied 46th (-2).
As for Mackenzie Hughes (4), he could not escape the ax after going over par by five strokes on Friday.