American golfing great Tiger Woods played at a much higher level in Friday's second round of the Open Championship, but he was unable to overcome a disastrous first round and missed the cut.
The 43-year-old Woods, who admitted after carding a 7-over 78 on Thursday that age and numerous back and knee surgeries have made it more difficult for him to train as intensively as he would like and be as consistent as he was earlier in his career, bounced back to shoot a respectable 1-under 70 in his second go-around at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in this seaside town.
That left him at 6-over for the tournament, well shy of the projected cut of 1-over par.
Woods gave himself and his legion of fans a glimmer of hope when he moved to 4-over for the championship by notching his fourth birdie of the day at the par-4 11th hole.
That followed earlier birdies on the first, sixth and 10th holes, although he gave a shot back with a bogey on the par-5 seventh.
But Woods was unable to get any further under par over the next five holes and then ended his tournament with back-to-back bogeys on holes 17 and 18.
The 15-time major champion will rue his play at this links course's three par 5s - the second, seventh and 12th - as he failed to birdie any of them over two rounds and carded two bogeys.
Those holes rank thus far in the tournament as three of the four easiest at this year's Open Championship, the last major tournament of the 2019 season.
Woods, who won his first major title in 11 years at The Masters in April, reflected on his disappointing result at Portrush and his year as a whole in remarks to reporters after Friday's second round.
"I love playing in these events. I love the atmosphere. I love just the stress of playing a major. And unfortunately I only had a chance to win one of them (the 2019 Masters) and was able to do it, but the other three I didn't do very well."
In his prime, Woods was a virtual lock to make it to the weekend of every Masters, US Open, PGA Championship and Open Championship he played, tying American golf legend Jack Nicklaus by making 39 consecutive major championship cuts between 1996 and 2006.
But due to numerous injuries and surgeries, Woods has only competed in 14 of the last 22 golf majors and has missed the cut seven times.
Other big names also are in danger of exiting this golf season's final major after two rounds.
The home-crowd favorite, third-ranked Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, is at 4-under through 13 holes on Friday but is still 4-over for the tournament.
American world No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau, meanwhile, is at 3-over for the tournament with just a few holes to play.
American J.B. Holmes, who led the tournament at 5-under after one round, and Ireland's Shane Lowry are the current co-leaders at 8-under, while American world No. 1 Brooks Koepka is just three shots behind.
Dozens of golfers are still on the course completing their second rounds, although few of them are close to the leaderboard. EFE-EPA