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Woods struggles through Cadillac Championship with exception of 90-foot birdie

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Tiger Woods had iffy prospects just to play in the Cadillac Championship this week. Once Woods took the course and had to play the last half of his first round and his whole second round on March 7, he looked even iffier to be in the running. But thanks to bad conditions that plagued the entire field, and one highlight reel birdie putt, Woods still has a shot at the Cadillac Championship despite being +5 through 36 holes.

A rain shortened opening day on March 6 meant that the field had to play more than 18 holes on day two. Yet just because the golfers could play, it didn't mean conditions were ideal for them to play well. In fact, the leaderboard has four players tied for first at -1, including Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Patrick Reed.

This is the only reason Woods is still within striking distance, despite shooting 76 in his two-day first round and 73 in his second. However, the second round was salvaged in part because of his work on the par-3 fourth hole, when he sunk a 91-foot birdie putt.

It didn't give Woods enough momentum to completely salvage the round, or move up in the leaderboard. But since the Cadillac Championship is playing like the average U.S. Open, +5 isn't the worst score to have. Of course, Woods is going to have to shoot somewhat below par in his last two rounds to have a chance.

Phil Mickelson is among the others at +5, needing at least one big burst and a favorable field to move up. Adam Scott is above them at +4, while Rory McIlroy is above most of the field at even par, although a 74 in the second round kept him from the top of the leaderboard.

No one shot in the 60's at the second round of the Cadillac Championship, so a 74 was among the better scores. If things continue like this on March 8, a 70 or 71 in the third round may be enough to move up the leaderboard. For Woods, it would certainly be an improvement, as 90 foot putts can't bail him out for too long.

Woods will retake the course at 11:25 a.m. est, with Johnson and Reed going out as the final pairing at 1:45 p.m. est, and live TV coverage starting at 2 p.m. est on NBC.

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