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Wounded Tiger tumbles out of US Open

Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot in the rough near the tenth green during the second round of the 115th U.S. Open. PHOTO/AFP

Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot in the rough near the tenth green during the second round of the 115th U.S. Open. PHOTO/AFP

TACOMA, June 20- Tiger Woods carried the scars of another failed campaign with him on Friday as he headed for home following another horror show at the US Open.

The fallen great made for the exit door after a struggling second round score of 76 failed miserably to repair the damage done by a horrendous opening 80.

That effort – his worst at any US Open and the fourth worst of his pro career – left the sport’s former dominant force with a mountain to climb just to make the cut. He never looked like doing that

“I wanted to shoot 5 or 6 today. But I wanted to be on the other side of it,” he said.

“But I hit a little bit better today. But, again, I made nothing today. I didn’t make any putts the first two days.

“I hit it better today. Hitting some spots where I could hit some putts. I made nothing.

Things quickly went from bad to worse at Chambers Bay early in the day as the 39-year-old American, whose last major title came in this same tournament seven years ago, bogeyed the 10th, his opener.

Again the culprit was a wayward drive which lodged his ball into a steeply sloping bank of long fescue grass and the three-time former US Open winner ended up on his backside as he slipped measuring up his next shot.

He did manage an up-and-down from a bunker at the short par 12th for birdie – just his second of the tournament – but he was needing a round in the mid sixties to have any hope of playing at the weekend and that did never looked remotely likely.

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Bogeys at 14 and 18 brought him to the turn at two over 36 and at 12 over for the tournament, his fate had already been sealed.

He soldiered grimly on helped along by a birdie at the first, but more bogeys followed at 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 as his game started yet again to unravel.

He ended the day at 16 over par and tied for 150th in a starting field of 156

On his own admission, Woods is playing the worst golf of his career and he has fallen to 195th in the world rankings which excludes him from some of the top tournaments coming up.

His last missed the cut in the US Open came at Winged Foot in 2006, shortly after the death of his father Earl.

His previous missed cuts in any major tournament came at the PGA Championships of 2014 and 2011.

Woods’ plight brought some sympathy from his fellow pros, notably Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old Texan who has become the new face of Americah golf.

“We have to maintain an insane amount of focus on ourselves. But, sure, it’s Tiger, everybody is aware of,” he said.

“Everybody hopes that he’s back and contending soon. And I’ve certainly enjoyed my time with him playing practice rounds, and especially in major championship practice rounds and learning from him.

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“It seems to be getting close, even though the scores may not show it. And I wish him the best. But as far as talking about it, there’s really no murmur, we’re just focusing on ourselves.

Woods will now have three full weeks to try and regroup ahead of the year’s third major, the British Open, which this year takes place at St Andrews where he won in 2000 and 2005.

He then has the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, the last of the year’s four Grand Slam tournaments.

Those two majors will be his last chances to salvage something from the wreckage strewn across the worst year of his career since turning pro in 1996.

With his 40th birthday beckoning at the end of the year, time is fast running out for him to realise his lifelong ambition of surpassing the 18 major title wins of Jack Nicklaus.

Asked where he would go from this latest setback, Woods shrugged and replied: “Just continue practicing, continue working on it. And hopefully it will be a little bit better.”

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