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January 30, 2015

Tiger shoots career-worst 82, misses Phoenix Open cut

Tiger Woods slumped to his worst round as a professional when he carded an 11-over-par 82 in the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Friday.

The 14-times major winner, struggling in his return to competitive golf after a long layoff due to a back injury, had six bogeys, two double bogeys, a triple bogey and two birdies in the round.

“It’s golf, we all have days like this,” Tiger told reporters.“Unfortunately, mine was in a public forum, in a public setting.”

"I'm just doing this so I don’t get fined,” Woods joked to reporters, echoing media-shy Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch.

Woods, whose previous worst score was an 81 in foul weather in the third round of the 2002 British Open, retained a sense of humor despite his humbling showing.

"I'm just doing this so I don’t get fined,” he joked to reporters, echoing media-shy Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, who is playing in the Super Bowl in nearby Glendale on Sunday.

Friday's round plunged Woods into last place in the field midway through the round at 13-over 155, 21 shots off the pace.

He struggled in all phases of his game in rainy conditions at TPC Scottsdale.

The former world number one sprayed drives, found water, flew approach shots over greens, flubbed chips and missed short putts in only his second event in five months after back pain for much of last year.

The embarrassing performance came after intense work with new swing coach Chris Como and a tie for last place last month in an event hosted by Woods at his previous home course of Isleworth outside Orlando.

Woods struggled mightily with his chipping game there, and it is still sorely lacking.

"My attack angle was much steeper with (previous instructor) Sean (Foley),” he said. “Now I’m very shallow, so that in turn affects the chipping. I’m not bottoming out in the same spot.”

Woods, 39, has not won a major since his 2008 U.S. Open triumph in a 19-hole playoff against Rocco Mediate and he showed he has a long way to go to get close to his top level.

After an opening round of two-over 73, Woods soared to an eight-over 44 in his first nine holes to tie his worst ever nine-hole score at the 2013 Memorial.

Starting from the 10th, Woods was one-over through the first four holes before taking a double-bogey at the par-four 14th and a triple-bogey at the par-five 15th.

He splashed his tee shot into water, blasted over the green from a greenside bunker and botched a chip shot at 15.

Woods closed the nightmare nine with bogeys at 17 and 18.

He posted three pars after the turn, but double-bogeyed the par-three fourth and added three bogeys and two birdies for three-over 38 and a score of 82.

Woods will need some quick fixes as he is scheduled to play next week at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, an event he has won seven times and was the scene of his last major triumph, the 2008 U.S. Open.