Arnold Palmer Invitational: Tiger salvages day, drops eight spots on leaderboard

Alex Butler

March 17 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods entered the second round of the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational tied for second place, but dropped down to No. 10 heading into Saturday's third round.

"Today was a hard fight," Woods told reporters after the second round. "It was a grind. I wasn't sharp, but I hung in there. I kept grinding away and chipped away at the golf course. I didn't hit the ball close. I didn't hit the ball well. But I was just hanging in there, hanging in there. I tried not to shoot myself out of the tournament. Just keep myself in the tournament. I thought something in the red would be great today. Just wasn't quite able to do it, but came close."


He followed his round of 68 on Thursday by carding a 72 on Friday. Woods was all over the course Friday at Bay Hill, but still managed to hit some impressive shots.

One of his best saves came on No. 15. Woods' tee shot on the 467-yard par 4 went 280 yards to the left of the fairway. His approach shot from 190 yards landed in the bunker, about eight yards short of the hole.

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Woods then saved par from an impossible angle. He slapped his wedge into the sand, with his ball placed just inside the lip of the bunker. He made contact with the ball and sprayed sand high into the air, bouncing his ball near the hole and sending it about 22 feet short of the pin.

He then lined up for his fourth stroke, hitting the ball from left to right and managing to sink the shot for par.

Woods sat at 3-under-par through 15 holes. He went on to birdie No. 16. Woods hit a 294-yard tee shot on the 511-yard par 5. He followed that shot with a 196-yard approach with an eight iron, leaving the ball 22-feet short of the hole and rolling it off the green.

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He nearly sank an eagle on his next shot, pushing the ball just to the right of the hole. Woods tapped in for birdie to get back even. He barely missed a birdie attempt on No. 18, two-putting for par.

The 14-time major championship winner has eight career victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"Today was just a bad day," Woods said. "I didn't really feel all that conformable with a lot of my motion today. Wasn't sharp. Wasn't crisp. I think it was contagious in the whole group. We all mishit a lot of golf shots today in our group. But we all hung around and grinded out a score."

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