Tiger Woods cards 71 at Firestone

Updated: August 1, 2014, 7:22 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

AKRON, Ohio -- Tiger Woods tried to keep things in perspective, acknowledging he is ahead of his pace from a return to golf following back surgery.

But inside the ropes on Friday at Firestone Country Club, there was little to get excited about for Woods, who shot a 1-over-par 71 during the second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

"I didn't hit the ball well. I didn't putt well. I didn't do anything well,'' said Woods, who is 10 strokes back of tournament leader Sergio Garcia and in a tie for 25th. "The only thing I did well was I fought hard. Grinded hard. Unfortunately, it wasn't very good today.''

Of particular frustration was his inability to get his driver in play. Long a source of frustration for Woods preceding his back issues, the club has given him even more fits since his return.

It cost him dearly during the second round of the Open Championship two weeks ago, and while it wasn't as penal on Friday, he still was able to find the fairway just once in nine tries with the longest club in his bag.

Woods admitted he only was allowed to start hitting the club two days prior to committing to the Quicken Loans National in June. Three of the four holes he made bogey on were ones where he used the driver.

"It wasn't just the driver, it was just everything,'' Woods said. "I didn't hit it good in warmup. Sometimes it's just warm up and then you go out and hit it great on the golf course. That wasn't the case today.''

[+] Enlarge Tiger Woods
Sam Greenwood/Getty ImagesAfter a tough second round, Tiger Woods is 10 strokes back of tournament leader Sergio Garcia at Firestone.

Starting on the 10th hole, Woods knocked his approach to 2 feet. But he bogeyed two of the next three, couldn't add a birdie, and then even managed to bogey the par-5 second -- just his third on the hole in 62 rounds at Firestone.

Woods bounced back with birdies and the third and the fifth -- rolling in a putt from the fringe at the latter, but missed the fairway at the ninth, leading to another bogey.

Despite his troubles off the tee, Woods wasn't very good on the greens, either, taking 29 putts and missing 5 under 10 feet.

"If I would have putted like I did yesterday, which is just normal, it's a 2-, 3-under round,'' he said. "But I missed a bunch of putts under 15 feet, and they weren't even close, that's the problem. It's not like they had the go in look. They just weren't very good.''

Woods is playing in just his third event since March 31 back surgery. He is the defending champion at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he won the last of his 79 PGA Tour titles a year ago.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com

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