Tiger Woods live blog: Tiger likely to make the cut at Riviera after closing birdie on Saturday morning
Yong Teck Lim
After an apology from Sergio Garcia, a non-apology from Matt Kuchar, and an uncooperative Mother Nature on Valentine's Day, it's time for everyone to focus again on Tiger Woods. Kidding. Sort of. A weather-delayed first round at Riviera re-starts on Friday morning and the 14-time major champ will be in the Hollywood-area spotlight as he finally begins his Genesis Open. And golf fans could potentially see a LOT of the tournament host as the event tries to play catch up after heavy rains on Thursday.
Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas (Decent group, eh?) are scheduled to tee off at 8:32 local time (11:32 ET). The hope is they will complete their first rounds and then play as much of their second rounds as possible before darkness. And Tiger's hope is to finally win for the first time at this historic layout where he missed the cut last year. We'll be tracking Tiger every step of the way so keep it right here for the latest scores, news and highlights. (All times eastern)
SATURDAY, 11:25: With a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 9, Woods' final hole of the second round, Tiger will likely make the cut. The birdie brought Woods back to even on his round and to one under overall.
After resuming play in the morning, Woods bogeyed his first hole, No. 4, then made four pars before his finishing birdie. His playing partners, however, fared much better. Justin Thomas shares the lead with Adam Scott at 11 under and Rory McIlroy birdied four of his six holes on Saturday morning to shoot 63 and move to seven under through 36 holes. Thursday's early wave is now on the course for their second rounds.
8:25: And with that, the horn has sounded—play will be suspended for darkness on Friday at Riviera. Tiger, JT and Rory have six more holes to complete their second round. Justin Thomas is at 10-under, tied with Adam Scott for the lead. Tiger will hope Saturday brings some different momentum for him—as this marathon day ends with two bogeys in a row after the highlight eagle.
8:21: That's back-to-back bogeys now for Tiger Woods, dropping another shot here at the third hole (his 12th of the round). And over his past six holes, Tiger has four bogeys. The birdie at No. 1 helped negate most of that damage ... but Tiger's back to 1-under again—right on the current cut line.
8:13: On his 30th hole of the day, Tiger is showing some obvious signs of being tired. And who could blame him—he's been playing golf for nearly 10 hours straight. From 165 yards out at the third hole, Tiger Woods tries to chop out a 6-iron and comes out of it. His ball comes to rest short of the green. With sunset in Pacific Palisades being 5:30 local time, this group will have time for maybe one more hole today.
8:04: Tiger follows up that eagle putt at No. 1 with a bogey at the second hole. The third bogey of his second round moves Tiger back to 2-under overall.
7:56: After a long wait at the second hole, Tiger sprays his second shot from 235 out with a fairway wood out to the right. He'll have his work cut out from the front right bunker to save par at the 482-yard par 4.
7:40: This is exactly what Tiger Woods needed: He rolls in his 43-foot eagle putt at his 10th hole (the first) to get back to 3-under—negating those two bogeys he made on his front nine. What a putt! With the flagstick in!
Tiger made a disappointing par to open his first round earlier today at the first hole. The unlikely eagle makes up for that effort—and could turn around Tiger's second round in a dramatic way. Tiger goes from toeing the cut line at 1-under to now all of a sudden being T-21.
7:28: Tiger finds the fairway at the par-5 first hole, the group's 10th hole of their second round, as he attempts to get a shot back here after bogeying two of his final three holes on his front nine. Neither bogey was particularly bad—the 18th hole is playing brutally tough right now uphill and into the wind with the rain, making it even more of a challenging hole. And his break at 16 was very unlucky.
7:16: Tiger and JT are gonna have their work cut out to save par at the 18th hole (their ninth). Each player had fairway wood approaches and tried playing a big cut. JT was way up left on the hill—Tiger was closer. He went high with his approach and will have about 11 feet left for par.
Tiger misses the par putt, so he'll drop a shot along with JT as they make the turn. Tiger moves back to 1-under after 27 holes. That's where the cut line currently is—so all of a sudden, Tiger must be concerned about making the cut.
7:01: Following Justin Thomas throwing a dart at the 17th to about 3 feet, Tiger puts his wedge shot from under 100 yards to outside 20 feet, so he'll be disappointed with that effort. The birdie putt misses on the high side, and Tiger taps in for par to remain at 2-under. His playing partner and buddy Justin Thomas stays hot, rolling in a fourth straight birdie to get to 9-under—tied for the lead with Adam Scott. Really impressive golf here from JT.
6:54: The rain is really coming down now as the players head to the 17th hole. Tiger finds the fairway at the par-5 17th hole, but it was a short one—he has 326 yards left. Most players have been laying up at this par 5 all day.
6:43: From a brutal position up against the back lip of the bunker, Tiger hacks it out—and somehow keeps the ball on the green, albeit the back portion. His par attempt from 44 feet away here comes up three feet shy. Tiger makes his bogey to move back to 2-under.
Meanwhile, Justin Thomas is officially on fire. He has another birdie after a fabulous tee shot at 16. It's now two Kentucky boys tied at the top: Justin Thomas and J.B. Holmes (-8).
6:39: Tiger will have serious lie issues at the par-3 16th hole. His tee shot came to rest up against the back lip of the bunker. As Billy Kratzert just remarked on PGA Tour Live, Tiger will do well just to keep this ball on the green. Though he avoided dropping a shot on his last hole, there might be a bogey in his future here.
6:35: A clutchhh par save by Tiger at the 15th hole makes up for his poor chip—and Tiger keeps the momentum going on his second round, as he stays 3-under for the tournament and 2-under on the round.
Justin Thomas, also in Tiger's group, holed out from in front of the green for birdie at the 14th hole, and he makes a long birdie putt at 15 to get to 7-under—just one back of fellow Kentucky native J.B. Holmes.
6:32: A poor chip shot from Tiger at the 15th hole leaves him about 13 feet away. He'll need to convert that putt to prevent dropping his first shot of his second round.
6:24: Tiger finds another fairway here at Riviera, this one at the 15th hole. The guy is feeeling it with his driver. Almost on auto pilot. His approach from 190 out turns a little too much, finding the rough to the left of the green. He'll have to get up and down to avoid dropping one here.
6:20: From 20 feet out, Tiger's birdie bid comes up shy—never really scaring the hole, despite getting a good look at the line from Rory's putt. Tiger taps in for par to remain at 3-under.
The putter has been disappointing for Tiger all day: He had 34 putts in his first round, including four three-putts, just the third time in his career he's done that.
6:13: Tiger puts his tee shot at the par-3 14th hole just inside Rory's ball—about 20 feet right of the hole. He'll get a little teach from Rory's putt, too, as Tiger continues to hit it well today.
6:07: Tiger just misses the left-to-right curling bid for birdie, leaving himself with an easy par at 13. He stays 3-under for the tournament and -2 through four on his round.
Tiger's playing partners are also playing well—Rory has three birdies in his first four holes to get to 2-under. Look out for Rory at rainy Riviera. And Justin Thomas, despite hitting his tee shot out of bounds at 13, got up and down from 160 yards to avoid dropping multiple shots. He's now 5-under after that bogey.
6:02: Another grooved tee shot for Tiger Woods at the 13th hole puts him in good position. He turned over his tee shot—putting his draw in the middle of the fairway at the dogleg left. Tiger spins his approach back to about 15 feet, just off the green in the fringe. He'll have a chance to knock another one here and keep the momentum going.
5:51: Bang! Tiger nails the 25-footer for birdie at the 12th hole to add a second birdie to his card through three holes. Realistically, too, it could be three straight birdies for Tiger. But the 14-time major champion is now 2-under through 3—T-3 for the tournament (T-19)—and carries some strong momentum on his side at the start of his second round ... as the rain is coming down at Riviera.
5:46: Tiger hits his approach hole high—about 25 feet from 181 yards. He'll have another chance to add a birdie to his third round.
Tiger's currently at 2-under, which puts him at T-29. The projected cut is at 1-under—so he's comfortably inside the number as of now. But there's a ton of golf to be played, obviously.
5:41: Tiger finds the fairway with his driver at the par-4 12th hole. The 12th usually plays as one of the toughest holes at Riviera—we'll see if Tiger can take advantage of his position here in the fairway.
5:33: An excellent fairway-wood second shot by Tiger put him right in front of the par-5 11th green in two. But a very poor approach putt for his third leaves him more than 10 feet away. His birdie try slides by for a very disappointing par being so close in 2. That should've been a golden opportunity to start his second round with two birdies—instead, Tiger stays at 2-under.
5:12: Tiger goes high with his pitch—having to navigate around the front bunker, and plays it nicely—spinning it about 7 feet short of the hole. So Tiger will have a good look for an opening birdie to start his second round. Tiger converts the birdie putt to move to 2-under.
5:02: Only a little more than a half hour after finishing his first round, Tiger Woods (-1) -- along with Justin Thomas (-5) and Rory McIlroy (+1) -- has teed off in his second round. The group started on the drivable 10th hole, and Tiger has driven his tee shot just off the green. He'll have a chance to put his pitch shot close to start his second round with a birdie.
4:24: Tiger narrowly misses the birdie putt at the 18th hole, so he'll tap in for a par and an opening-round, one-under 70 at Riviera. Having three-putted for a fourth time on the 17th hole to drop a shot in disappointing fashion, Tiger will head to his second round a bit frustrated. But the four consecutive birdies showed him being able to score well at Riviera, where he has never won.
Tiger, JT (who birdied 18 to finish at 5-under) and Rory will head right back for their second round in this marathon day for them.
4:18: Tiger responds to that shocking three-putt with a perfect drive and a towering 6-iron on Riviera's famed 18th. Woods is in good shape to at least make par the difficult hole, but as we've seen all day, a two-putt is anything but automatic.
Here's an unusual stat on Tiger three-putting four times this afternoon. He's making some history in a bad way...
4:06: So much for the momentum. . . After a decent approach shot that spins back to about 20 feet, Woods runs his birdie putt a couple feet by and. . . gulp. . . misses the comebacker from about two feet. Wow. That's four three-putts on the day as Tiger falls back to one under with one hole to play.
3:57: Uh-oh, it's raining in southern California again. Meanwhile, Woods is plodding his way up the par-5 17th. After pulling his drive into the left rough and drawing a poor lie, Woods pushed his layup slightly into the first cut of the right rough. He'll have a some sort of wedge to a back-right hole location.
3:50: Tiger's tee shot was tracking on the par-3 16th, but it comes up about 30 feet short. From there, he two-putts for par to remain at two under. Justin Thomas makes his 10-foot birdie effort to move to four under, while Rory McIlroy remains at one over. McIlroy hast two holes to avert his first over-par score of 2019.
3:40: After another great drive and a solid approach, Woods races his birdie attempt nearly five feet past the hole. But he keeps the overall positive momentum going by converting the par putt to remain at two under. Tiger has three more holes to play. At least, before he gets a lunch break.
3:24: BANG! There's the bounce back from Tiger. It just came one hole later. And from farther away as Woods drains his 12-footer for birdie on No. 14.
Woods is now back to two under, five shots behind Jordan Spieth, who has to be pleased to still be in front by two despite these soft conditions.
3:17: Tiger hits a great shot on the difficult par-3 14th hole to about 15 feet. He'll have a good look at birdie coming up. In the meantime, here's a look at how the leader board stands with Jordan Spieth still leading the way.
Click here for full scores.
3:13: Woods stuck his approach to about four feet below the hole on No. 13. A bounce back birdie looked like a forgone conclusion until he pushed his effort. Woof. That's two three-putts and two short misses on the greens for Tiger today. He remains at one under. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy, after getting to two under through eight, has fallen to one over after back-to-back bogeys. Justin Thomas, the third player in the group, continues to lead this trio at three under.
3:05: After hitting fade after fade, Woods steps to the 13th tee and rips a draw around the corner, perfectly setting up his next shot. Good to see him working it both ways with ease.
3:01: Tiger pushed his tee shot into the right rough, then hit a fantastic recovery shot from a thick lie onto the green. He had a long look at birdie that rolled about four feet past, leaving him with a tricky left-to-right par putt, which he missed. That's three three putts on the day for Woods, and he's still one under.
2:39: Not the best chip from Woods, as he left himself about six feet for birdie, but he makes it anyway. Four straight for Tiger to get to two under for the day.
2:30: Woods rips a 3-wood from 269 to just in front of the green. Hate to jinx him, but there's no reason he shouldn't easily make his fourth straight birdie here (ducks).
2:20: Three in a row for Woods as he rolls in another at No. 10 and moves to one under. If he finds the fairway again at the 11th, four in a row will be in his sights. Meanwhile, Rory makes his par to stay at one under and JT ends up holing his 10 footer for birdie to get to four under. Finally a little bit of JUICE from this threesome.
By the way, it looks like we know when they'll be heading back out for round two later today. Here's an update from the Tiger Tracker:
That should give them enough time to get at least 11 or 12 holes in.
At the 11th, Woods stripes another drive down the fairway. He's really starting to cook.
2:12: Tiger's shot was a tad more difficult than we thought, as he had to avoid a bunker and take it up high to get it back to the pin. He was successful, sticking it to about three feet. Hell of a shot. Even better was Rory's shot, as he flopped it from a nice lie and got it to hang on just off the back of the green and stay out of the back bunker. Thomas, who had the easiest shot, put too much spin on his chip, leaving himself with about 10 feet for birdie.
2:07: Finally, Tiger, Rory and JT hit their tee shots, and it looks like the ensuing entertainment will be well worth the wait. Tiger is in the collection area left of the green, where he has a straightforward chip that should set him up with a good chance to make birdie. Thomas is just in front of the green, and he'll have a great chance to make a birdie as well. Rory ... um ... not so much. He's in the rough with a greenside bunker in front of him and a pin he won't be able to get close to, and just holding the green would be a miracle.
1:52: Woods drains his four-footer for bird and turns in even par 35. Real strong finish to his opening nine, and now it looks like he'll have a long wait at the 10th. DeChambeau, Kuchar and Rahm have still yet to hit their tee shots.
1:47: Tiger had just 122 left to the green and stuck one in there close. He has four feet left for birdie to turn in even par, which would be a small victory after that ugly three putt back at No. 7. Not to mention he'll have a prime opportunity to get into red figures at the driveable par-4 10th.
1:41: Woods cranks another high fade right down the middle with the driver at No. 9. With the tees up today, he'll have a low iron in his hand for his approach.
1:34: And he's on the board! Woods bounces back with a birdie putt from 15 feet, getting him back to one over. We'll see if that gets him going before making the turn.
1:30: From 125 yards out, Woods hit a wedge and hated it from the second he made contact. While he did pull it, he's still hole high and inside 20 feet. Hideki Matsuyama-esque move from Tiger.
1:24: Woods rips one right down the middle at the par-4 eighth. Should have a short iron in.
1:15: Tiger's birdie putt was actually from just off the green on the fringe, and he rolled it by some four feet. Then, he missed the comebacker for par, dropping to two over on the day. Oof.
1:09: Fairway and a green for Woods at the seventh. Good look at birdie coming up to get back to level par.
12:58: Another hole, another par for Woods, who two-putted from 24 feet on the par-3 sixth. In the group up ahead, though, Jon Rahm is making a move at three under through six.
12:47: Another meh hole for Tiger on No. 5, just missing the fairway with his tee shot, finding the front of the green with a so-so approach, and two-putting for another par from 43 feet. Woods remains at one over through five holes while his playing partners, McIlroy and Thomas, both remain at one under.
12:42: As Matt Kuchar's ball is in the air on the par-3 sixth, a fan yells, "Go low—just not with the gratuity!" Despite Matt maintaining this is "not a story," it is. And this won't be the last comment like this.
12:29: Woods hit a nice shot to about 15 feet on the par-3 fourth, but ran his birdie effort by the hole. Still one over. Still no highlights. At least, from Tiger. Here was Spieth's closing birdie from about an hour ago, because there is not much else exciting going on right now.
12:17: Another missed fairway and another short approach from Tiger on the par-4 third. Although, Woods found the putting surface, he was unable to two-putt from 63 feet, missing a seven-footer for par after badly misreading his first putt. That drops Tiger to one over through three holes. Not a lot of highlights so far. . .
12:02: Tiger misses right off the tee on No. 2 then comes up short on another approach. But his pitch shot nearly goes down, leaving him with a tap-in par. Even par through two holes.
11:49: After that perfect opening tee shot, Tiger hit a hideous approach with a 5-iron that came up way short in a fairway bunker. From there, he hit his third to 10 feet but missed the putt to walk away with a disappointing par. Both of Tiger's playing partners, McIlroy and Thomas, make birdie.
11:38: Matt Kuchar just misses his eagle attempt from 25 feet on No. 1, but taps in for birdie. Kuchar has been in the news a lot this week over a caddie controversy dating back to his win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. A controversy he didn't help with his comments on Wednesday. Is it possible some of those "Kuuuuch" shouts will turn to "Mooooch"? Kinda sounded like it on the first hole. . .
11:34: Jordan Spieth is in with a seven-under-par 64 to take the early lead. Spieth needed only 21 putts during his bogey-free round. Of course, starting tournaments hasn't been a problem for Spieth of late. Finishing, however, has been a different story. Incredibly, Spieth is looking for his first win since the 2017 British Open and his first top 5 since last year's Masters.
11:32: Woods smashes a driver off the first tee that finds the fairway. The opening par 5 at Riviera is essentially a long par 4 and one of the easiest holes on the PGA Tour all year so Tiger is thinking at least birdie after that tee shot.
10:53: So far, so good on the Friday weather:
And with lift, clean and place in play (for at least the first round), low scores are out there. Let's set the over/under on the Par-71 layout at 68.5.
10:45: We are approximately 45 minutes away from Tiger's tee time and it's another major champ who is already off to a fantastic start. Jordan Spieth has the lead at six under through 15 holes. Spieth leads Patrick Rodgers by one and then there's a big group at four under, including Bill Haas, who is playing in the event a year after being involved in a car accident during last year's tournament that killed a friend he was staying with. Make sure you read Brian Wacker's piece from earlier in the week on how Haas is still trying to move on from that tragedy.
10:35: As we move within an hour from Tiger teeing off, check out GOLFTV's latest behind-the-scenes video with Woods in which he says his bag has up to 16(!) golf gloves during rainy rounds and he explains why he doesn't like wearing rain jackets:
"Pops used to say, 'Once you're wet, you're wet. Deal with it.'" Talk about a great life lesson.