Tiger's 74 at Memorial worst 18 of '09

Updated: June 5, 2009, 9:58 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

DUBLIN, Ohio -- So much for all the good feelings emanating from Tiger Woods' opening round at the Memorial Tournament.

Woods, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, shot his worst score of the year Friday morning, a 2-over-par 74 at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

The round included five bogeys and three birdies and left him at 143, 1 under and in a tie for 24th heading into the weekend. Woods trailed co-leaders Jim Furyk and Jonathan Byrd by six strokes.

"On this golf course, you have to make sure you hit the ball in the correct sides, and I didn't do that today," Woods said before heading to Muirfield's driving range.

It was Woods' highest score at the Memorial -- which he has won three times -- since he shot a 76 during the third round in 2003. It also was his highest on the PGA Tour since a 74 during the second round of the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie -- a span of 18 stroke-play events.

This is the seventh tournament of the year for Woods, who missed eight months following his U.S. Open victory last June due to reconstructive surgery on his left knee.

Since his return at the Accenture Match Play in February, where he lost in the second round, Woods has six top-10 finishes in stroke-play events, including a dramatic victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He also finished fourth at the Quail Hollow Championship and tied for sixth at the Masters.

A good deal of attention was placed on Woods' erratic driving, which had him ranked 145th on tour going into the Memorial, but he hit 13 of 14 fairways during Thursday's opening-round 69 and hit 12 of 14 on Friday. However, he hit only 11 of 18 greens during the second round and also had a 3-putt.

"At home I've been feeling great," Woods said. "It's a matter of being a little more consistent. My rounds are sporadic. I'll get it going, have one or two bad holes, get it going again. You can't do that out here and win golf tournaments. You have to get it going consistently. And I just haven't done that yet."

This is Woods' final tournament before the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black on Long Island, which begins June 18.

Bob Harig is the golf writer for ESPN.com.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com