ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- The grandstands were deserted, but the surrounding streets and pubs were packed as Tiger Woods approached the 18th green on Friday. It was 9:40 p.m., more than seven hours after the world No. 1 had first teed off in the second round, and while the light was fading fast, Woods was stubbornly still clear in the picture.
A day removed from an opening 67, Woods' 73 on Friday could be considered a letdown if not for two numbers: 41, as in winds of up to 41 mph in the heart of his round; and 80, as in the score of first-round leader Rory McIlroy, who played in virtually the same conditions.
"It was calm out there all day," Woods said with a smile. "No, it was a tough day. It was a tough day for everybody out there."
Put it all together and even when Woods dropped his putter in frustration as his eagle putt slid by the hole after driving the 18th green, his disappointment was fleeting. After his closing birdie put him at four-under par, he now finds himself eight shots behind leader Louis Oosthuizen heading into Saturday. But he was quick to note it could have been much worse.
"I'm not exactly where I want to be," Woods said. "I'm not 12-under par, but I'm at four under. I'm eight back and today was a day I could have easily shot myself out of the tournament, especially the start I got off to, but I put it back together again and pieced together a pretty good round."
-- Sam Weinman