WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – One week after he won for the third time this season, Tiger Woods gets a rare weekend off.
Woods missed the cut in the Greenbrier Classic by a stroke Friday, following an opening 71 with a 69 to finish at even par. He missed a cut for only the ninth time in his PGA Tour career, and for the third time in a tournament following a victory.
After winning Sunday at Congressional, Woods was on a course he’d never seen before.
I didn’t quite have it, Woods said. I drove it really good today and I just did not have the feel for the distances. The ball was just going forever. I know we’re at altitude, but I just couldn’t get the ball to hit pin high no matter what I did, and subsequently, I made some bogeys.
Phil Mickelson also failed to advance to weekend play, the first time Woods and Mickelson have missed the cut in the same tournament as professionals.
Mickelson shot his second straight 71.
U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson topped the leader board at 9 under when play was suspended because of darkness in the round that was delayed because of rain.
Simpson made a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th for a 4-under-66.
A dozen players were unable to complete the round.
Woods believes his distance control will be easy to work on heading to the British Open, which starts July 19 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.
Yeah, because it’s not going to be this warm and we’re not going to be at altitude. We’ll be on the beach, he said.
Mickelson has gone seven consecutive rounds over par and hopes his game improves.
I certainly am looking forward to links golf, Mickelson said. I enjoy playing the ball on the ground and hitting it – you know, trying to keep it below head high on some tee shots and so forth. That was fun last year when we had some terrible weather. And it will hopefully play to one of my strengths, which is short game, and I’ll try to get that sharp heading into the British.
Among those still on the course when play was stopped was Martin Flores, who was a stroke back at 8 under with two holes left. The round was delayed more than two hours earlier in the day because of thunderstorms.
Rookie Charlie Beljan (62), Jonathan Byrd (68), Jeff Maggert (68) and Jerry Kelly (66) also were 8 under.
CHAMPIONS: In Pebble Beach, Calif., John Cook closed with a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth hole at Del Monte for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead with 62-year-old Tom Kite in the First Tee Open.
Kite also opened at Del Monte. He won the 1983 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am and 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the site of his final two rounds in the Champions Tour event.
Cook won the 1981 Crosby for the first of his 11 PGA Tour titles.
Mark McNulty, Loren Roberts and Tom Pernice Jr. were a stroke back. They also played at Del Monte.
Brad Bryant had the best score of the day at Pebble Beach, shooting a 69. Mark Calcavecchia, Corey Pavin, Gary Hallberg and Peter Senior shot 69 at Del Monte.
Defending champion Jeff Sluman had a 71 at Del Monte. He also won the event in 2008 and 2009.
Eighty-one junior players from the First Tee program played alongside the pros.
EUROPEAN: In Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, France, Marcel Siem of Germany overcame wet and windy conditions plus a lightning delay to shoot a 3-under 68 for a one-stroke lead after the second round of the French Open.
Siem holed five birdies to offset a double bogey and totals 6-under 136.
Alexander Noren of Sweden shot 67 for the best round of the day and moves into second place, one stroke clear of Anders Hansen of Denmark and George Coetzee of South Africa, who both shot 68s.