We've seen Tiger Woods produce some incredible finishes over his career, and while Friday's closing stretch at the Honda Classic wasn't for the win or a spot in the final group on Sunday, it was the kind of finish that showed us Woods is still capable of putting it all together under pressure.
The pressure Woods faced on Friday happened to be getting inside the cut line to make the weekend, but that's neither here nor there. What really mattered was the manner in which he closed out his second round.
After knocking his approach shot in the water on the par-3 fifth hole and carding a double-bogey to move to 1-over, it appeared Woods was destined to spend the next two days at home watching Honda coverage from his couch. The round had been a complete mess, as he went from hitting fairways and greens the day prior to hitting it all over the map.
With the putter still on ice, most figured he'd maybe scrape inside the cut line and make the weekend, but based on the way Woods had been playing of late, there was a definite chance things could get worse over the final four holes.
But instead of unraveling, Woods did something he hasn't done in some time: He found a way to recover, going 2-under over his last four holes -- including back-to-back birdies to finish his round -- to not only make the cut, but go into the weekend with some positives.
One day after Woods needed 34 putts to get around PGA National, he went around the course in 24 on Friday in a round that saw him hit significantly fewer fairways and greens but give himself plenty of makeable birdie opportunities -- something he didn't do on Thursday.
Even though Woods is well back of the leaders and most likely won't be a factor on the weekend -- unless he can get really low on Saturday -- the finishing stretch on Friday showed us something.
We tend to dog Tiger for not making the big putts when it matters. And while Friday's birdie-birdie finish wasn't something we'll look back on and recall 20 years from now, it was the kind of gutty finish with the putter Woods needs at the moment.
He needs to get some confidence back not only in his putting stroke, but in himself. Two birdies won't completely fix his flagging confidence, but he has to start somewhere. Who knows, maybe that kick-start started on the eighth hole during the second round of the Honda Classic. We'll just have to wait and see.
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