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Tiger just can't crack the Riviera as Woods falls out of contention of the Genesis Invitational

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Tame Tiger just can’t crack the Riviera Riddle as Woods falls out of contention of the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles

  •  Tiger Woods falls off the pace at the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles
  •  Justin Rose and Adam Scott impressed on day two at the Riviera Golf Course
  •  Australian Scott hit four birdies in the last six holes to sit at six under par 

Mark it down as another day at Riviera when the mysteries of this majestic course proved once more beyond even the great Tiger Woods.

At the halfway point in the Genesis Invitational, the dream of a record 83rd PGA Tour victory has entered the realms of the improbable, the balance tilted considerably towards this being a 13th appearance here without a win rather than a celebrated first triumph.

Woods said in the build-up that he’d had too many poor putting days over the years to win — and here was another as he missed three costly short ones coming home to fall from contention with a two-over par 73. 

Tiger Woods fell out of contention at the Genesis Invitational with a two-over par 73

Tiger Woods fell out of contention at the Genesis Invitational with a two-over par 73

Add in a couple of bewilderingly poor short iron blows and, on level par for two rounds, he’s left himself needing a score in the mid-sixties today simply to have any chance in the final round.

Instead, it was the group behind who seized the opportunity to move into position. Their number included Justin Rose, who shot his second straight 69 to stand on four-under par.

This time last year, Rose was the world No 1 — he’s now 10th — and this was more like it from the Englishman, who struggled with his ball-striking last year.

Meanwhile Justin Rose shot a second consecutive 69 to stand at four-under par

Meanwhile Justin Rose shot a second consecutive 69 to stand at four-under par

 Also part of the group was Jon Rahm, who needs a win here to have a chance of displacing Rory McIlroy — an afternoon starter yesterday — as world No 1 and served notice of his intentions with a 68 to sit alongside Rose at four under.

Then there was defending champion JB Holmes, who fired a 69 to join the European duo. Among the morning wave, nobody went past the seven under total of first-round pacemaker Matt Kuchar, who was out late. Kang Sung-hoon briefly joined him atop the leaderboard, but a bogey on the par three 16th saw the Korean trail by one.

Joining him in the clubhouse at six-under was Australian Adam Scott, who birdied four of the final six holes for a stunning 64.

Adam Scott hit four birdies in the last six holes to register an impressive 64

Adam Scott hit four birdies in the last six holes to register an impressive 64

 The sun was a long way from rising when Woods arrived at the course before 6am for his 7.16am tee time. Temporary floodlights illuminated the practice putting green by the clubhouse as the tournament host went through his warm-up.

By the time he reached the 10th tee — his starting hole — around 300 hardy souls had braved the rigours of the busy 405 freeway to cheer him on. Just as he had on day one, Woods got off to a fast start, with a birdie at the 10th.

So began a number of pleasing shots that hinted at a good day until a horror stroke at the 15th out of nowhere.

Despite a promising start, Woods struggled in the last three holes to fall off the pace

Despite a promising start, Woods struggled in the last three holes to fall off the pace

 The challenge of this hole is usually in the tee shot, but Woods faded a driver past the fairway bunker to leave himself just 140 yards to the hole — a green light, you would think, for a birdie opportunity.

What followed drew gasps from his audience. The ball barely flew 120 yards and plugged in the face of a greenside bunker. From there, he played over the green and ended up missing a 6ft putt for a bogey. Just like that, so much good work undone.

At least Woods had two par fives to rectify the damage and he birdied both the hard way with two good up and downs. Once more, the progress proved an illusion, however, as he missed three short putts in four holes.

 

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