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)

McIlroy, Woods duds in debuts

Tiger Woods checks his ball on as Martin Kaymer leans in and confirms it’s embedded. But what they missed was the sand.

Getty Images

Tiger Woods checks his ball on as Martin Kaymer leans in and confirms it’s embedded. But what they missed was the sand.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Friday, a woeful start to the season for the world's top two players.

Woods missed it after he was penalized two shots for wrongly taking a free drop; top-ranked McIlroy was frustrated trying to adjust to his new Nike clubs, even though he used his old Titleist putter in the second round. Both finished with 3-over 75s.

"When you don't hit fairways on this golf course, you can't score," McIlroy said.

Justin Rose played solid, mistake-free golf. Away from the large galleries, the Englishman shot 69 for 8-under 136 and a one-shot lead at the halfway point over Jamie Donaldson (70) of Wales, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (67) of Spain and Thorbjorn Olesen (69) of Denmark.

Woods and McIlroy were expected to contend in the PGA Europe event but often looked like weekend golfers. Their struggles captivated the crowds, and their departure means it's the first time the world's top two missed a cut in the same tournament since McIlroy and Luke Donald at the last year's U.S. Open. The last time in a regular tournament was 2005 by Woods and Vijay Singh at Disney World.

"I didn't hit it particularly well. I putted great but just didn't hit it very good," Woods said. "I have some work to do, and next week I'm playing at Torrey (in San Diego), and obviously it will be different weather there, so going to go back and get ready."

Woods thought he was safe in finishing Round 2 with 73, but he was advised by European Tour chief referee Andy McFee of the penalty, giving him 75 for 3-over 147. The cut was 2 over.

McFee said he warned Woods on the 11th tee of the penalty, a result of his taking a free drop when his ball was embedded in sand and not in vines as it appeared.

"I called Martin (Kaymer) over to verify the ball was embedded. We both agreed it was embedded and evidently it was in sand," Woods said of the infraction that happened when his drive on No. 5 landed in a bed of vines. "Andy ruled I broke an infraction, consequently got a two-shot penalty. Andy feels the way he feels about it and I broke the rules."

Kaymer said he thought the ball was embedded and was surprised to hear of the ruling.

"I didn't know about it, and he obviously didn't know about it, otherwise he wouldn't have done it," Kaymer said.

McFee said Woods didn't challenge him on the ruling. It came to light when a spectator alerted the tour to the infraction, he said. After the drop, a reporter heard spectators questioning whether the drop was appropriate.

McIlroy posted a second straight 75 for 6-over 150. Even a switch to his old putter for the second round didn't help. He putted poorly, flubbed several chips and drove erratically.

"I didn't putt well again, so they were the two areas of the game; nothing was really on" he said. "One of those things. I've got a few weeks off to work at it and try and get my game in decent shape for the U.S."

PGA: James Hahn and Roberto Castro remained atop the Humana Challenge leaderboard, shooting 5-under 67 for 14-under 130 at the pro-am event in La Quinta, Calif. They began the round tied for the lead with Jason Kokrak. Hahn had four birdies, an eagle and a bogey at La Quinta CC. Castro had the lead alone at 16 under but bogeyed two of his last three holes on PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course. Phil Mickelson shot 67 after opening with 72, nine behind the leaders and two off today's projected cut.

Champions: David Frost shot 7-under 65 for a one shot lead after the opening round of the Mitsubishi Electric Champion­ship in Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii. Fred Couples and Tom Kite led a group of six at 66.

McIlroy, Woods duds in debuts 01/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, January 18, 2013 9:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mikhail Sergachev scores twice as Lightning shuts out Blue Jackets (w/ video)

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev said he blacked out for a few seconds after his first NHL goal Thursday night, a rocket slap shot from the point.

    Mikhail Sergachev, front, looks like he’s very in the moment with teammate Dan Girardi after scoring his first NHL goal, though he says he blacked out for a bit. He scores again in the second.
  2. Dodgers rout Cubs 11-1 to win pennant, head to World Series for first time since '88


    CHICAGO — Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

    The Dodgers celebrate their Game 5 victory Thursday night over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, putting Los Angeles in the World Series for the first time since 1988.
  3. Joe Smith's takeaways from Thursday's Lightning-Blue Jackets game

    Lightning Strikes

    While Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov grab the headlines, don't sleep on their linemate, Vladislav Namestnikov. Namestnikov is far from a third wheel, with eight points in eight games. "He might not have the names the other two have, but he's as pivotal and vital to that line as the others," coach Jon Cooper said.

  4. Lightning journal: Derrick Brooks helps J.T. Brown make a difference

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown's decision to stop his anthem protest began to take shape just a few days after he raised his right fist before the Oct. 7 game against the Panthers in Sunrise.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown (23) on the ice at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17).
  5. Duke tops preseason coaches' basketball poll; Gators No. 7


    Duke has been tabbed basketball's preseason No. 1 for the second straight season in the coaches' poll, released Thursday.

    Florida point guard Chris Chiozza launches the shot of last season’s NCAA Tournament, a winning 3
against Wisconsin that put the Gators into the Elite Eight. Chiozza returns to lead a UF team that’s getting its share of preseason attention, including a No. 7 ranking in the coaches’ poll.