Woods misses Quail Hollow cut, Watney leads

Fri May 4, 2012 7:58pm EDT

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(Reuters) - A frustrated Tiger Woods missed a cut for only the eighth time in a PGA Tour event while Nick Watney stormed into a one-shot lead in Friday's second round of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Former world number one Woods battled to a one-over-par 73 at Quail Hollow Club, struggling with his putter, failing to birdie any of the four par-five holes and finishing one stroke outside the cutline.

"The entire week I didn't play the par-fives well," Woods told reporters after parring his last nine holes to post an even-par total of 144, a distant 12 strokes behind fellow American Watney who fired an eight-under 64.

"You just can't do that, especially when all of them are reachable with irons. I didn't take care of the par-fives, missed a couple of other little short ones for birdie and consequently got no momentum during the round."

The greatest player of his generation and arguably the best of all time, Woods has missed four cuts in his last 36 PGA Tour events after missing the same number in his previous 231 starts.

While Woods struggled on the challenging Quail Hollow layout, four-times PGA Tour champion Watney surged to the top of the leaderboard with a superb 64 that included seven birdies, an eagle at the par-five 15th and a lone bogey.

"I played great, I hit the ball probably the best I have all year," Watney said after posting a 12-under total of 132 to finish one ahead of compatriot Webb Simpson (68).

"This was just really, really good ball striking. I hit a bunch of shots close. I putted well, and I'm very, very pleased. But we're only halfway done, so I'm really looking forward to the weekend."

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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