CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Tiger Woods promised to put his free weekend to good use after missing the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship.
"It does bother me, no doubt," Woods said. "But at least I get the weekend to watch and see how it's done, how real players play golf."
Woods didn't fit that category Friday with a shocking 79 that included a stunning meltdown on the back nine. Only a stroke off the cutline at the turn, Woods began the back with three straight bogeys to all but guarantee an early exit.
That's when things turned disastrous for the world's No. 1 golfer.
He pounded a driver way right on the shortish par-4 14, then hit a high flop shot that rolled off the green and into the water. A drop, two chips and putt gave him double bogey.
The low point came a hole later, the par-5 15th when Woods, hitting almost as soon as he arrived at his ball, four-putted the green from 30 feet for a second straight double bogey, and third in two days.
Woods did show some gumption down the stretch, parring out along Quail Hollow Club's "Green Mile" of 16-17-18 to break 80.
"It's frustrating," Woods said afterward. "I didn't have much."
Woods' 43 on the back matched his worst nine on the PGA Tour. It was just his sixth missed cut of his 14-year career.
"It's not like he completely packed it in, but you lose a little intensity out there when you're five, six strokes out of the cut with three holes to play," said Stewart Cink, the British Open champion grouped with Woods the past two days.
"It's kind of natural to kind of get your thing over with and go and move on to next week," said Cink, who also missed the cut.
That leaves the third member of Woods' group, Angel Cabrera in prime position at Quail Hollow.
Cabrera paid little attention to Woods' troubles in fashioning a 67 for a 7-under 137, a stroke behind leader Billy Mayfair.
"I've been working hard all year and been waiting for a round like this," said Cabrera, who's only two PGA Tour victories were at majors.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson was already off the course and in at 6 under while Woods was playing out his round. Mickelson, after his 68, heads a group that includes Dustin Johnson (65), J.P. Hayes (64) and Paul Goydos (70).
First-round leader Bo Van Pelt dropped back into a tie for 14th after a 76.
For Mickelson, it was another Masters victory lap around Quail Hollow. He was cheered at every tee, along each fairway and walking up every green. The loudest ovation came at No. 15, hours before Woods' four-putt, when Mickelson rolled in an 8-footer for eagle and walked off with a happy grin.
Mickelson says he's over the illness — he said Friday he thought it was food poisoning — that saw him walk off the course during Wednesday's pro am, and feel fatigued toward the end of his opening round.
"The weekend, though, I'm feeling much better," Mickelson said. "I should be 100 percent, and will hopefully have time to work on my game, get a little practice in and shoot lower scores."
Woods is going to try that, too, only at home in Florida as he prepares for The Players Championship next week.
If Thursday's 74 came from wayward shots off the tee, his blowup Friday came around the green.
"My short game was terrible," Woods said. "I putted bad."
Woods missed makeable putts for par on the 10th, 11th and 12th holes. After a drop when he went in the water on No. 14, Woods chipped it off the green to result in a double bogey. And, of course, there were those four putts on No. 15.
Woods' plans to improve?
"Practice a little bit," he said.
And there's likely not a pro out there who doubts Woods' eventual return to top form.
"This is tournament number two of the year," Cink said. "I'm sure it's still in there and it's just that he would like to uncover it, and he'll probably do that by playing more."