There was old major championship Tiger Woods and current major championship Tiger Woods, and while a lot thought the old guy would show up after that performance last week at Firestone, it's been the current Tiger that's struggled at Oak Hill.
Woods shot a round of even-par 70, not bad if Oak Hill had played the way most expected this week but not good considering how everyone else is attacking this PGA Championship.
While Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson and K.J. Choi were not only chasing the course record but major championship history on Friday, Woods was struggling with the green speeds and the distances with his irons, dropping multiple clubs after impact in disgust.
He sits 10 shots back of Dufner with 36 holes to go, a factor by name only.
[Related: Tiger Woods nearly misses tap-in putt]
The putter that Tiger Woods had last week at Firestone, and for much of the non-major season, went missing, and it really showed on the back nine on Friday. Woods drove the par-4 14th but three-putted for a disappointing par. After picking up a birdie on the next hole it was back to the balky putter, as Tiger three-putted the 16th for a bogey to give the shot he just picked up right back.
On a day when it seemed everyone was going low, Woods couldn't get a single bit of momentum on his side. After his bogey on 16, Woods buried a great birdie putt on the 17th to get back to even par for the tournament, but again it was a bad swing on the 18th tee that forced Woods to just pitch out and after a weak wedge shot couldn't convert the lengthy par putt, settling for a closing bogey.
Now comes the hard part for Tiger. Somehow the No. 1 player in the world needs to figure out a way to block out the fact that he's playing in a major championship and approach Saturday like it's Bay Hill, or Sawgrass, or Torrey Pines or Firestone. During his five wins this year on the PGA Tour the guy with 14 major wins carried himself like a man that already knew what the future held, walking with his chin up and a strut that said this tournament was his.
At the majors it has been a different Tiger, playing conservatively to a fault and being befuddled on the greens.
Tiger has two more rounds left in 2013 that really, truly matter to his career. Hopefully he can block out everything that clouds his mind at the major championships and remember that he is still the best in the world, and coming from behind to win a major championship is something he is very much capable of doing.
If he doesn't, it will be a long offseason for a man with five PGA Tour wins answering questions about where he leaves his golf game during the four most important weeks of the PGA Tour season.
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• Adam Scott getting it done with Steve Williams on the bag
• Woody Austin pays dearly for extra club
• Phil Mickelson plays into the night to iron out flaws
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