Pacific Palisades: Anirban Lahiri set himself up for a good finish after two late birdies saw him card two-under 69 in the weather-hit second round to lie tied 26th at the Genesis Open golf tournament on Saturday.
Lahiri, who was even-par at the 15th, holed two brilliant 30-footers in his three remaining holes to zoom up the leaderboard. Trying to make up for numerous missed putts earlier in the week, Lahiri started the day at even par after the 15 holes he had played on Friday before darkness stopped play.
On the Par-3 16th his tee shot was 30 feet from the cup and he holed. Ironically he missed a birdie on Par-5 17th but again on 18th he hit a great second shot from the rough to just over 30 feet. He once again holed it for a second birdie in three holes.
However, the man in focus this week, Tiger Woods will miss the cut after he shot 5-over 76 in the second round today. Playing at the Riviera for the first time in 12 years, totalled six-over 148 and exited. Patrick Cantlay (69) and Graeme McDowell (66) shared the lead as play was called off due to darkness. They were seven-under for 36 holes. Also at seven-under was Arnold Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, who was three-under through 15 despite a double bogey on 12th followed by a bogey on 13th in his first nine.
Cantlay had five birdies against three bogeys in his 69, while Graeme McDowell, who has missed the cut three times in his five previous appearances at the event, had seven birdies against two bogeys.
Lahiri will be back on Saturday morning (late night in India) to play his remaining three holes to ensure he stays on for the weekend.
Once again Lahiri gave away his early gains, just as he did in the first round when he dropped a double bogey and another bogey in a span of three holes.
Starting this time on the first, Lahiri had 10 and a half feet for an eagle, but settled for a birdie and then on the third, he holed a 10-footer for a birdie. In between on second, he puts his tee shot on right rough and went to left rough off the second.
Yet he had a 15-footer for par and he missed it for a bogey. After being around 16-18 feet for birdies on sixth and seventh, he managed pars. He got his third birdie on eighth from around five feet and turned in two-under.
Then on the par-4 10th, he went into the greenside bunker and failed with a 12-footer for par. On Par-3 14th, he went into the front bunker, but did well to come within 10 feet for par, but he missed it. Those disappointments set him back to even for the day and one-over for the tournament.
Woods had three straight bogeys early on the back nine Friday and didn't play nearly well enough to make up for it. He shot 5-over 76 and was projected to miss the cut, which was likely at 2-over.
Woods, who had never missed the cut at Riviera in eight previous trips as a pro, was at 6-over 148.
Woods, a 79-time PGA TOUR winner had a tough day off the tee and on the greens hitting just four of 14 fairways, one of which came after bouncing off a tree. He needed 32 putts.
“I didn't really play that well today. I missed every tee shot left and I did not putt well, didn't feel very good on the greens and consequently never made a run,” he lamented afterward.
After going out in 2-over 37, Woods birdied the 10th hole to put himself right around the projected cut. Then he made three straight bogeys, two with three-putts, to cut short just his second full field event since back fusion surgery last April.
“I didn't feel very good when I was warming up with my putting. The greens were fast and bumpy, and I knew that,” Woods said. “I need to miss the golf ball below the hole … when the greens get this fast and this bumpy, anything above the hole is virtually luck if you make the putt. I kept missing it above the hole and that's what was ticking me off.”
It will be just his 25th career missed cut on TOUR in 330 starts once the second round is finished early Saturday. But after two tournaments and six rounds of competitive golf, Woods said he was ready to take the next step.
“I'm both pleased and also not very happy with some parts of it. It's nice to be back competing again and to be able to go out there and play, practice after each round … something I haven't done in years … keep building,” he said. "(But) just the inconsistency of it. One of my hallmarks of my whole career is I've always hit the ball pin high with my iron shots, and I have not done that.”
Woods will play next week at The Honda Classic near his Florida home.