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If Tiger wants to start winning again, he really needs to hit more greens

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

In his first tournament back from injury, Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Quicken Loans National. It's not really fair to judge him based on that alone -- the man did have back surgery, after all -- but that doesn't mean we can't learn from his performance.

With that in mind, here are some of his key stats from his two rounds at Congressional:

ROUND 1
ROUND 2
TOTAL
RANK
DRIVING ACCURACY 64.29% 50.00% 57.14% T-53
DRIVING DISTANCE 299.6 302.3 300.9 44
LONGEST DRIVE 332 317 332 T-88
SAND SAVES -- -- -- T-99
GREENS IN REGULATION 55.56% 55.56% 55.56% T-92
STROKES GAINED PUTTING -1.741 -0.843 -1.292 106

As we noted on Thursday, Tiger's iron play was significantly worse at Congressional than in 2013, when he was among the best on tour. That trend continued on Friday; he hit just 10 greens once again to finish T-92nd in that category for the tournament. To put that in perspective: when Tiger plays his best, he usually hits somewhere between 12 and 14 greens per round.

Although he improved by almost a full stroke on the greens on Friday, his putting is also a slight concern. But the good news is that number will improve the better his iron play gets, because he'll be placing himself in better positions to make more putts.

There are positives Tiger will draw from his first competitive round back from injury, among them the knowledge that -- now that he's pain-free -- improving his iron play offers him a clear route back to the top of the game.