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One stat suggests Tiger Woods won’t come back to win the British Open

For The Win logo For The Win 7/20/2018 Nick Schwartz

Tiger Woods holding a baseball bat: File Photo © File Photo File Photo Tiger Woods battled back from two early bogeys Friday at the British Open, and he's safely inside the cut line for the weekend in his first Open start since 2015.

Woods, a three-time Open champion, has played solid golf this week at Carnoustie while a number of fellow pre-tournament favorites - notably Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas - have faltered. Woods carded four birdies on Friday and finally recorded his first birdie on a par-5 this weekend, but a bogey at 16 and a 7-foot birdie miss at the 18th resulted in another even-par round of 71.

Woods got slightly unlucky with his group draw, and played a late tee-time on Thursday and an early tee time on Friday. Players with the opposite schedule, such as Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Tony Finau, benefitted from more ideal weather conditions on both days.

Woods finished his 36th hole of the tournament just six shots behind clubhouse leader Zach Johnson, but if he wants to increase his major total to 15 this week, he'll have to do something he's never done before - come from outside the top-5 over the weekend at a major.

In Woods' prime, he was so much better than the field on average that he usually built a comfortable lead at a major early on, and no one in the world had the ability to overtake him on a Sunday. Before his latest slew of injury setbacks that forced him away from the game for years, Woods was 52-4 in his career when he had a share of the 54-hole lead.

Tiger is currently in a tie for 31st, and the front page of the leaderboard is stacked with top-ranked players and former major champions. Unless Woods puts together a magical round Saturday and challenges the course record at Carnoustie, it seems unlike that he'll be near the final group for the final round. Woods said after his round that he expects one of the late starters to go low, meaning he could potentially be too far back with 36 holes to play, given the amount of players in front of him.

Even if Woods doesn't win this weekend, though, he can do some major work on improving his world ranking. Woods has a chance to qualify for his first WGC event of the season with a high finish at Carnoustie.


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