SAN MARTIN, Calif. — The fog finally lifted at CordeValle and revealed a Tiger Woods that looked vaguely familiar.
Woods ran off three consecutive birdies early in his round, survived a rough patch around the turn and kept the stress to a minimum Friday in his round of 3-under-par 68 in the Frys.com Open that assured he would be around for the weekend.
“I don’t like missing cuts, period,” Woods said. “If I miss the cut, that means you can’t win the tournament on the weekend. I’ve got a shot at it this weekend.”
He still was seven shots behind Paul Casey, who is making a revival of his own.
Casey, at No. 135 on the money list and in danger of losing his PGA Tour card, has been fighting a foot injury since the middle of May.
He showed signs of getting better by winning in South Korea last week, and then he got over jet lag in time to post 64.
That put him at 8-under 134. Bud Cauley, who turned pro this summer and is trying to avoid having to go to Q-school, had 66 and is one shot behind at 7-under for the tournament. Ernie Els, who didn’t complete his second round because of darkness, is also at 7-under, through16 holes of his second round.
It was the first time since the Masters Tournament that Woods made a 36-hole cut, and the first time in two months that he broke par.
That speaks only to the kind of stop-and-start year he has had, missing three months this summer to let injuries to his left leg fully heal, and missing the last seven weeks when he failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: In The Woodlands, Texas, Michael Allen shot 9-under-par 63 to take a three-stroke lead over John Cook after the first round of the Insperity Championship.
Allen, the 2009 Senior PGA Championship winner, had nine birdies in his bogey-free round at The Woodlands Country Club. Cook, the 2008 champion, also had a bogey-free round.
Schwab Cup points leader Tom Lehman and Mark Calcavecchia opened with 67s, and defending champion Fred Couples was another stroke back along with Tommy Armour III and Eduardo Romero.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In Madrid, England’s Lee Slattery shot 6-under-par 66 to lead the Madrid Masters by one shot after the second round.
Slattery had seven birdies and one bogey at El Encin Golf Hotel to finish at 11-under. He leads Spain’s Eduardo de la Riva and Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who each shot 67.
Former Augusta State star Oliver Wilson shot 69 and is four shots back.
KOREA OPEN: In Seoul, South Korea, Rory McIlroy shot 2-under-par 69 and is in a five-way tie for the lead after 36 holes of the OneAsia Tour event.
The U.S. Open champion shares the lead with defending champion Y.E. Yang (70 on Friday), Mo Joong-kyung (66), Bronson La’Cassie (67) and Rickie Fowler (70) .
LPGA TOUR: In Incheon, South Korea, top-ranked Yani Tseng shot 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Chella Choi after the first round of the Hana Bank Championship.
NATIONWIDE TOUR: In Chattanooga, Tenn., John Millinger shot 7-under-par 65 to open up a two-shot lead in the Children’s Hospital Classic.
Billy Hurley III (65) and former Georgia golfer Justin Bolli (67) share second place.
Both area golfers in the field missed the cut, which fell at 140.Aiken native Matt Hendrix shot 74-71–145 and North Augusta’s Scott Brown had 71-77--148.