Woods misses cut at Genesis Open, commits to playing in Honda Classic

Justin Thomas was certain he had missed this excellent chance for birdie at Riviera. Moments later he was picking his ball out of the hole

Justin Thomas was certain he had missed this excellent chance for birdie at Riviera. Moments later he was picking his ball out of the hole

Even when he was winning tournaments for fun, Tiger never managed to enjoy success here, so perhaps it wasn't surprising that his rusty game was horribly exposed by its stringent demands.

The young American duo of Patrick Cantlay and Tony Finau co-lead after Round 1 at the Genesis Open at Riviera. This brings up the question: Will the threesome of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas make it to the weekend?

Tiger Woods has committed to playing at the PGA Tour's Honda Classic next week in an encouraging indication of his progress in recovering from long-term injury.

Woods is currently competing in the Genesis Open in his second full-field PGA Tour start since returning to action following spinal fusion surgery a year ago, and he is confident he is now in a position to play two events in a row.

Woods hadn't confirmed his status earlier in the week. "You can't go practice having the belief, you know?"

Considering how the rest of the field fared in their respective second rounds, it was a great one for the former UCLA standout, who opened with a steady even-par 36 on Riviera's back nine.

A poor wedge that flew the green from 103 yards cost McIlroy a shot at the 11th but after pulling his 193-yard approach to the 12th to drop another shot, he was puffing out his cheeks after missing birdie chances inside 10 feet at the 13th and 16th. With a bit of momentum established, everything looks in place for a good third round on Saturday. His fourth shot was sailing toward the eucalyptus trees, and before long, Woods was riding in a cart back to the tee. But on this shotmaker's course, we've seen plenty of evidence of the work he's been putting in behind the scenes in an effort to get back to the top.

"I didn't really miss any shots and just played the golf course really smart and took what it gave me, and I think that's what you've got to do around here". Last year, when he attempted to go back-to-back from the Farmers Insurance Open to the Dubai Desert Classic, came to a woeful end when he withdrew after just a single round with an ailing back. He had until 30 minutes after completing his second round on Friday to declare his intention to play at Honda.

They are two clear of big-hitting Tony Finau, with Bubba Watson - twice a victor of this event as well as the Masters - three adrift.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson, who is first on the Official World Golf Ranking, also struggled with a 3-over-par 74, putting him in an 11-way tie for 107th, eight strokes off the lead.

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