Sam Saunders opens strong again at Riviera; Woods has 72

Tiger Woods is again in a battle to make the cut Friday at the $7.2 million Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The field will be reduced to the low 70 plus ties at the conclusion of the second round Friday.

"I haven't played golf in years, so I'm starting to come back and it's going to take a little time, " he said. I'm very pleased with my round, but I missed a lot of very makeable birdie putts, and it could have been a lot better round today. "I knew I had to make a run on that back nine, and I went the other way".

Woods meanwhile hit eight bogeys and three birdies to leave him on six over, four shots off the projected cut.

Woods bogeyed his next hole and birdied the one after that.

A birdie at 10 appeared to give him fresh hope, but it did not last."I thought I could pump a drive down there at 11 and get to it with an iron and turn the tide around and play a good solid back nine", Woods said.

The 42-year-old was competing in just his second PGA Tour event in a year after undergoing back surgery.

You might see Woods teeing off on #10, Spieth putting out on #9, Johnson teeing off on #3 and McIlroy putting out on #18 all at the same time. "That's been nice, something I haven't done in years".

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.

"I didn't really play that well", Woods said.

Woods, as host of the tourney that benefits his foundation, will stick around for the weekend even though he won't be on the tee sheet.

Back to his day job, Bubba Watson started with a tap-in eagle and finished with a 6-under 65 to build a one-shot lead in the Genesis Open. Saunders was a 3-under through 15 holes when play was suspended.

His five birdies included a burst of three in a row that began with a near hole-in-one at the par-three sixth - his 15th of the day.

Long before he reached the 18th green and an ovation from the 40,000-strong crowd that gave you goosebumps, there was no chance of him making the halfway cut, let alone challenging Graeme McDowell at the top of the leaderboard.

  • Jacqueline Ellis