Tiger Woods may not have taken full advantage of the softer conditions prevalent in the British Open second round on Friday but he certainly welcomed them.
The former world number one, who has won golf’s oldest major three times before, posted his second level-par 71 of the championship after the good weather that bathed the players in sunshine earlier in the week gave way to rain and grey skies.
“It was nice that it slowed the golf course down,” Woods told reporters at Carnoustie. “We certainly had a chance to control the ball on the ground a little bit better.
“The ball wasn’t rolling 80, 90 yards like it was yesterday. It was a little bit easier in that regard.”
The 14-times major winner started poorly with a bogey at the second where he pushed his tee shot to the right and then narrowly missed the huge gallery following his match with a recovery that squirted low out of the rough.
“I kept moving them back,” Woods said of the crowd. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around and hit it left and I was trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could.
“It grabbed the shaft and smothered it. I was very, very fortunate that it got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”
Woods also bogeyed the third but showed typical fortitude by birdying the fourth and fifth.
He then audibly cursed his luck at the ninth when a par-saving putt lipped out. Birdies followed at the 11th and 14th before another dropped stroke set him back at the 16th.
Woods delivered a pinpoint approach to the final green but his birdie effort slid by the hole at the last second.
“I’m certainly right there in it,” he said after finishing six strokes behind clubhouse leader Zach Johnson.