Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bad putting again is Woods' enemy

Tiger Woods, hitting his second shot from a bunker on No. 14, loses to Nick Watney 1-up in the Match Play Championship.

Getty Images

Tiger Woods, hitting his second shot from a bunker on No. 14, loses to Nick Watney 1-up in the Match Play Championship.

MARANA, Ariz. — Tiger Woods had a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to extend the match, and Nick Watney already was thinking about how to play the next hole. He had his yardage book out, trying to decide whether 3-wood was the right club to hit off the first tee.

"The old adage is to expect your opponent to make it," Watney said. "And when it's Tiger Woods, you really expect him to make it."

But in what is becoming a troubling trend for Woods, he missed the birdie putt so badly that it never touched the hole, giving Watney a 1-up victory Thursday in the World Golf Championship's Match Play Championship.

It was the third straight time Woods, a three-time champion in this event, failed to get out of the second round.

"I didn't miss a single shot coming in, which is good. And that was fun, to hit the ball that well," Woods said. "Unfortunately, I just didn't make a putt when I needed it.

"I was fighting the blocks all day with my putter," said Woods, who missed three putts inside 10 feet on the last six holes. "Left-to-right putt, I took it slightly right there, and I knew it — and blocked it open."

Two weeks ago, Woods couldn't buy a putt at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and closed with 75. Last month he also struggled to make putts in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, when he failed to win despite being tied for the 54-hole lead with Robert Rock.

"I'm very happy to move on," Watney said. "I feel a bit fortunate, as well. We don't see (Woods) miss putts like that very often. And there were a few of them."

In the round of 16, Watney plays Lee Westwood, who had no trouble against Robert Karlsson, advancing to the third round for the first time in 12 tries at this event.

"Need more clothes. Didn't pack for long enough!" Westwood posted on Twitter.

In other matches:

• U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 seed, made only three birdies but won two straight holes with par to put away Anders Hansen. He plays Miguel Angel Jimenez, who beat PGA champion Keegan Bradley.

• Dustin Johnson, headed for defeat in the opening round until outlasting Jim Furyk in 20 holes, blasted Francesco Molinari early and rolled to a 7-and-5 win. "I was definitely in a better mood," Johnson said of the short day. Next up for him is Mark Wilson, who breezed to a win over Rock.

• Steve Stricker celebrated his 45th birthday in style. Two down on the back nine, he rallied to catch Louis Oosthuizen, then won the match with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that had so much break even Stricker wasn't sure he could make it. He plays Hunter Mahan, who never trailed in beating Y.E. Yang.

• Ernie Els, one day after becoming the third No. 64 seed to win, had another short day, but this one preceded a long flight home. He lost 5 and 4 to Peter Hanson.

• The surprise was that Scotland had two players remaining: 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie took down Ryo Ishikawa, and Martin Laird defeated Matteo Manassero. Lawrie and Laird face each other in the third round.

pga: Will Claxton shot 4-under 66 in windy conditions to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Charles Howell led a group of seven tied for second.

LPGA: Angela Stanford shot 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Na Yeon Choi led a group of five tied for second. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson was at 3 under and Seminole's Brittany Lincicome at 1 under.

Bad putting again is Woods' enemy 02/23/12 [Last modified: Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays' Evan Longoria: "We have all the belief in the world in here"


    The weekend sweep by Texas and four-game overall losing streak has some Rays fans - based on their tweets and emails - questioning the team's ability to make the playoffs and suggesting they might as well trade away their key parts.

  2. What are the odds the Rays trade for Brad Hand or Pat Neshek?


    In each of the last three seasons, the Rays have been sellers at the trade deadline. They shipped away David Price in 2014, got rid of David DeJesus and Kevin Jepsen in 2015 and flipped Matt Moore, Steve Pearce and Brandon Guyer in 2016.

    Padres left-hander Brad Hand has excelled in his two years with the team.
  3. Gerald McCoy cares too much about what you think of him

    The Heater

    Gerald McCoy is right. We are going to miss him when he's gone.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is one of 16 players to record at least five sacks in each of the past five seasons. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Ronde Barber says comments about McCoy 'sensationalized'


    If anyone thinks Ronde Barber was throwing shade at Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, think again.

    "That anyone would assume I would say the best player on the defense isn’t a bad dude is irresponsible and sensationalizing a quote to serve their own means,'' Ronde Barber said.
  5. USA Today sees Bucs as 10-6 wild card team in 2017


    Another day, another national outlet making NFL predictions, and this one is promising for Tampa Bay fans, as USA Today's Nate Davis has the Bucs going 10-6 and making the …

    Bucs DT Gerald McCoy tries to bring down Giants QB Eli Manning in a 2015 game. Tampa Bay and New York are both picked to finish 10-6 in USA Today's preseason predictions, both making the playoffs as wild cards.