KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Tiger Woods had another day of near misses on the greens as the 14-times major winner fired a second round four-under-par 67 on a stifling day at the CIMB Classic on Friday to trail leader Robert Garrigus by five shots.
After another thunderstorm struck the Malaysian capital on Thursday night, the PGA Tour brought in preferred lies for the second round of the 48-man field event which led to low scoring on the relatively short and wet Mines Golf Course.
Woods, though, was left with the feeling of what might have been as for the second consecutive round, he watched good putts trickle by the hole as temperatures at the $6.1 million event reached 33 degrees Celsius with 50 percent humidity.
“It was just one of those days where I didn’t make enough birdies,” Woods, who had six birdies and two bogeys in his round, told reporters after finishing the day tied for fifth on nine-under 133.
The American’s playing partner Jbe Kruger suffered no such problems reading the greens on the Robert Trent Jones Jr designed course as he fired a brilliant 64 to end the day alone in second on 12-under 130, two behind Garrigus.
The diminutive South African, who credits his long hitting to a quirky fitness regime of running up and down hills at home dragging a tire, rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-three second to kickstart his round.
Kruger, who played most of his opening first round one club light after he bent his eight-iron on the fourth hole on Thursday, continued to roll in the putts with further birdies on the third, sixth and eighth.
Woods, matched the effort on the par-five third but dropped his first shot of the day on the next after his approach from the trees on the right landed in a muddy bank next to a water hazard short of the green.
The American clambered down and clubbed his ball onto the green, receiving a face full of mud for his troubles, and then stroked his 20ft par putt just to the right of the hole.
“I had a good enough lie that I knew I could get it out, I knew I couldn’t control it but at least I could get it on the green and give myself a putt,” Woods said of his fortunate escape.
Woods then knocked in a 12ft birdie effort - his longest putt of the day - at the fifth to get back to six-under for the tournament, with his putter redundant on the par-three seventh as he chipped in from off the green to pick up another shot.
His prodigious length guaranteed a birdie at the par-fifth 11th after he easily reached the green in two, only to see his 20ft eagle putt sail by.
A sliced drive on the long, par-four 12th led to his second dropped shot of the day before more short-game wizardry resulted in two further birdies for the sweat-soaked American dressed in black.
“It is playing where it could be had out there, guys are shooting good scores, a bunch of 65s and lower today,” said Woods, who missed a seven-foot effort on the last for birdie.
Garrigus, who has three second-place finishes on Tour this year, was one of those to take advantage of the preferred lies rule to fire eight birdies in his round for a second consecutive 64 to take command of the co-sanctioned event.
Editing by John O'Brien