Tiger Woods admitted he was battling mental and physical fatigue after his second comeback round “stalled” at the Hero World Challenge.
Woods, 47, delivered a two-under-par 70 to leave him on one-over par through 36 holes following ankle surgery after his withdrawal from the Masters in April.
But the 15-time major winner was left thinking what might have been after he picked up three bogeys and just one birdie in his concluding six holes.
Woods reached the turn at the Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas with four birdies on his scorecard.
“Overall the round was better than yesterday, for sure,” said the American. “The start was better, the middle part of the round was better.
“I missed a couple putts there towards the end I thought would have kept the round going and unfortunately it kind of stalled out a little bit.”
Asked if physical and mental fatigue had contributed to his end-of-round “stall”, Woods, who dropped four shots in three holes between the 15th and 17th on Thursday, replied: “It’s all of the above. I just haven’t done it. I haven’t played in six months.
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“Things are not as sharp as they normally would be. There has certainly been some good in there and I have just got to make sure that the good is more consistent than it has been.
“I can play at home, I can walk, beaches, and do all those things. But it’s different when you’re at game speed.
“You can simulate all you want at home and I had it the best I possibly can. We played a lot of money matches, but it’s just different. The mind’s racing more, the anxiety, the emotions are just different. You can always drop a ball at home, no big deal. Here it’s going to cost you.
“Other things are bugging me and bothering me, but the ankle’s fine. This week is a great beta test to figure out what I can do, and what the plan is going forward, and just analyse what it’s like to compete and play and the things I need to strengthen and work on in the gym to be ready for next season.”
Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth were in a tie for first place on nine under, one shot ahead of Brian Harman, with Justin Thomas a further shot back.