PEBBLE BEACH – Tiger Woods, irate after a bogey-bogey finish in the second round of the US Open on Friday, insisted he was "still in the ball game" at Pebble Beach.
Woods had played 29 straight holes without a bogey before his faltering finish, which pushed him to a one-over par 72 and a 36-hole total of even par 142 -- seven shots off the second-round pace.
A day after scrambling to a one-under 70 thanks to a strong performance on the greens, Woods hit 11 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation but let his opportunities go begging.
After teeing off on 10, Woods rolled in a 10-footer at 11 for what would be his lone birdie of the day.
He missed half a dozen birdie tries from inside 20 feet, including three from within 10.
His par streak ended when he hit his approach shot short at eight. His chip left him 15 feet and he two-putted.
His tee shot at the ninth found a bunker and his shot out left him in the rough short of the green. He needed two putts from 20 feet to close out the round.
"Not a very good finish," Woods said. "I'm a little hot right now. I just signed my card about a minute ago. So I need a little time to cool down a little bit."
But Woods insisted he hadn't blown his shot at a fourth US Open title – on the same course where he won his first in 2000 in devastating style.
"Right now I'm still in the ball game," Woods said. "There's so many guys with a chance to win.
"We've got a long way to go, and we'll see how it shapes up for (Saturday).
"The golf course can be a little bit faster, a little bit more springy than it was today, and scores will continue to back up a little bit."
Woods said he was able to finish under par on Thursday, despite some poor iron play, because he managed to miss in the right spots and left himself putting uphill all day.
"It's so important to be below the hole, because above the holes, they're a little tough to make," he said.
"I had a couple opportunities there. I missed a couple. But overall I kept leaving myself above the hole. And unlike yesterday, when I missed it I missed the correct spots below the hole, today I never had that many looks from below the hole.AFP