Tiger Woods 8 strokes behind leaders

Updated: January 29, 2011, 9:25 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

SAN DIEGO -- An impressive run of golf at Torrey Pines came to an end Saturday when Tiger Woods shot over par for the first time since 2002 in what is now called the Farmers Insurance Open.

Woods shot 2-over-par 74 on the South course and is 8 strokes behind tournament leaders Phil Mickelson and Bill Haas, tied for 24th.

Despite making only one birdie on the par 5s, Mickelson shot a 4-under 68. Haas missed a 4-foot par putt on the par-5 18th and shot 71.

For Woods, it was just the second over-par score in 46 rounds at Torrey Pines, excluding the U.S. Open.

"It was a struggle all day," Woods said. "I finally found something at [No.] 16, but 15 holes already had gone by, so that was pretty frustrating."

Woods has won the Torrey Pines event six times, including four in a row from 2005 to 2008. His only other round over par was a 77 in 2002, when he tied for fifth. His worst finish here is a tie for 10th in 2004.

During his 2008 U.S. Open victory at Torrey Pines, Woods shot two rounds over par, but par was 71 and the his total that played off against Rocco Mediate was 283, 1 under par.

Like many golfers who make changes in their golf swing, Woods said he is having difficulty bringing it from the practice range to the course, especially in competition.

[+] EnlargeTiger Woods
Donald Miralle/Getty ImagesTiger Woods had a day to forget, shooting a 2-over 74 on Saturday at Torrey Pines. "I didn't swing the club very well at all," Woods said.

"It's always easy to do at home on the range," he said. "Then you have to do it on the golf course at home, and then once you're able to do it there, now you have to do it in contention. Then once you do it in contention, you have to do it in major championships. And then you have to do it on the back nine of a major and be successful.

"So it is a process, a building process. I've been through it before, and I hit some good shots out there, unfortunately, I hit way too many bad ones."

Woods hit just five fairways and only 10 of 18 greens -- his lowest total of the tournament -- and needed 31 putts. After starting the day five strokes out of the lead, he made three bogeys on the front nine.

"I didn't swing the club very well at all, didn't feel comfortable," he said.

Woods suffered through his first winless season as a pro in 2010. He parted ways with his swing coach of six years, Hank Haney, and later hooked up with Sean Foley, whom he is still working with now.

Asked if he was committed to the changes he made under Foley, Woods said, "Absolutely. I told you guys back at Barclays [in August] that was the thing. Do I do it or not do it? After that I make the commitment, I make the commitment and go.

"I know what I can do. I know what I'm capable of hitting, the shots I'm capable of hitting, and I just need to keep improving and keep working."

Asked when he'd like to see the consistency return to his game, Woods didn't flinch: "Augusta," referencing the first major championship of the year at the Masters.

"Actually not just for that one week. I need it in June [U.S. Open]. I need it in July [British Open] and I need one more in August [PGA Championship]."

Bob Harig covers golf for ESPN.com.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com

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