Tiger Woods looks skyward as he waits to play on the 17th green during the second round of the Open Championship on Friday. Photo: Peter Morrison/AP
Tiger Woods looks skyward as he waits to play on the 17th green during the second round of the Open Championship on Friday. Photo: Peter Morrison/AP
Tiger Woods’ hopes vanished with bogeys at the 17th and 18th holes on Friday. Photo: Ian Walton/Reuters
Tiger Woods’ hopes vanished with bogeys at the 17th and 18th holes on Friday. Photo: Ian Walton/Reuters
Tiger Woods waves his hat to the crowd after completing his second round at Royal Portrush. Photo: Peter Morrison/AP
Tiger Woods waves his hat to the crowd after completing his second round at Royal Portrush. Photo: Peter Morrison/AP

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – A battling Tiger Woods rediscovered some of the old magic at the Open Championship on Friday, but the American will be packing for home after failing to make the cut at Royal Portrush.

The 15-times major champion carded a one-under 70, but failed to repair the damage of Thursday when he struggled with back pain and shot an ugly 78.

Woods, who won the last of his three Open titles in 2006, made four birdies in his first 11 holes and looked to be in with a shout of surviving until the weekend.

He birdied the first, and the smile returned as he rolled in another at the sixth.

A bogey at the seventh halted his momentum, but he birdied 10 and 11 to get the fans roaring.

It was always a long shot though, with the cut expected to be at around one-over, and as the rain closed in, so Woods’ hopes vanished with bogeys at the 17th and 18th.

“It’s more frustrating than anything else because this is a major championship, and I love playing in these events,” said Woods.

“I love the atmosphere. I love just the stress of playing in a major.

“And unfortunately, I’ve only had a chance to win one of them (this year) and was able to do it. But the other three, I didn’t do very well,” he added.

Woods said that he had to accept that his days of being a consistent threat were now behind him.

“That’s one of the hardest things to accept as an older athlete, is that you’re not going to be as consistent as you were at 23. Things are different,” he said.

“I’m going to have my hot weeks. I’m going to be there in contention with a chance to win, and I will win tournaments.

“But there are times when I’m just not going to be there. And that wasn’t the case 20-some-odd years ago.

“I had a different body, and I was able to be a little bit more consistent.”

The American said his next task was getting ready for the playoff stage of the PGA Tour season, but that he needed a break first.

“I just want some time off just to get away from it.

“I had a long (vacation) trip to Thailand, and then trying to get ready for this event, to play this event, it’s been a lot of travel, a lot of time in the air, a lot of moving around and different hotels and everything. I just want to go home,” he said.

Great rival Phil Mickelson is also in danger of missing the cut, and if he does, it would be the first time in the 83 majors in which they have both competed that both missed the weekend.

Reuters