Tired Tiger looks to ‘ big things’ like Zozo, Masters

Tired Tiger looks to ‘ big things’ like Zozo, Masters

NEW YORK • Tiger Woods departed Winged Foot disappointed and frustrated after missing the US Open cut, but is already looking forward to defending his Masters title in November.

The 15-time Major winner fired a seven-over 77 on Friday at the famed Mamaroneck, New York, layout to finish on 10-over 150, four strokes beyond the cut line.

“It’s frustrating that I’m not going to be here for the weekend,” he said. “It feels like the way the golf course is changing, anybody who makes the cut has the opportunity to win this championship. I didn’t get myself that opportunity.”

What is next for the 44-year-old is some rest and recovery time.

“Well, probably I’m not going to be swinging a club for a little bit,” he said. “Take a little break. And then refocus and get back after it.”

The next time he tees off in a Major will be in November when he has his long-delayed opportunity to defend his Masters title. He captured the green jacket in April last year but, because of the coronavirus pandemic, has to wait until Nov 12-15 to return to Augusta National.

“There’s still one more Major to go, and my title defence at Sherwood,” he said of the Zozo Championship, which he won in Japan last October but will next take place at Sherwood Country Club in California next month.

“We have a couple (of) big, big things ahead of us.”

US Open defending champion Gary Woodland, who shot a second-round 74 for a 148 total, was among a host of Major winners who joined Woods in missing the cut. PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa (71, 147), Justin Rose (77, 150), Henrik Stenson (77, 151), Phil Mickelson (74, 153), Jordan Spieth (81, 154) and Sergio Garcia (81, 155) all exited prematurely.

American Patrick Reed, however, relished the challenging conditions, overcoming swirling winds, thick rough and speedy greens to jump to the top of the leaderboard.

The 2018 Masters champion fired a 70 for a four-under 136 total, one stroke ahead of compatriot Bryson DeChambeau. “I love the grind,” he said, after hitting just five fairways. “I love when it’s hard, when you have to be creative on all different golf shots.”​

    4 Shots adrift of the cut line for Tiger Woods after carding a seven-over 77 for a 150 total on Friday.

The 30-year-old is confident he can tidy up his game as he guns for his second Major title. “I feel ready to go out and put myself in position hopefully tomorrow to have a chance late on Sunday,” he said.

“But I think the biggest thing is, I feel like the game is where it needs to be. I feel good. I just need to tighten a few things up here or there, but the short game is sharp, and when I play around a place like this, that’s what you need.”

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

US OPEN

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