New York, July 2 (ANI): As the golf world waits for the No. 1 player to return to form, Tiger Woods keeps teasing, surging and disappointing.
Just when you think you"""ve seen the spark, like a 61-footer on the 5th hole, he throws the wet blanket out there with a 4-over back nine.
It left him with 3-over par 73 for his day at stately Aronimink Golf Club in a tie for 81st, which means he"""ll have to fight his way back from one stroke off the cut line to defend the AT and T National title he won at Congressional Country Club last year.
Woods blamed his putter again but unlike Pebble Beach, where he blamed the greens, he offered no excuses.
"I just putted awful, really. My speed is good, I"""m just not hitting the ball on line. Even when I did hit my putts on the exact line I wanted to, they still didn"""t go in. I didn"""t read them right. It"""s been sort of a combo platter," the New York Daily News quoted Woods, as saying.
"If I keep hitting like this, I"""ll be fine. The putts will start to go in. It felt good to drive it on a string again. I hit what I thought were two bad drives and both of them landed in the fairway and just got into the rough (he forgot about one way right on No. 7) so it was a good feeling," he added.
Meanwhile Woods""" Isleworth neighbor and frequent Indian practice partner, Arjun Atwal is in a four-way tie for the lead with Joe Ogilvie, Nick Watney and young Aussie Jason Day at 4-under 66.
Atwal, who is not fully exempt, is playing here only because Woods, as de facto host, called him in.
Woods told him if one of the tournament"""s sponsor"""s exemptions came back, he"""d give it to Atwal. It did and he did. (ANI)