Ailing Tiger targets big improvements

The 14-time major champion improved marginally on his opening 80, but his second-round 76 left him at 16 over for the tournament with only Darren Clarke below him on the leaderboard.

Woods was 21 strokes adrift of early halfway leader Jordan Spieth after returning a card featuring two birdies and eight bogeys, and it was the first time he had missed the cut at the U.S. Open since Winged Foot in 2006.

The 39-year-old had recorded just one round in the 80s as a professional before??this year, but has now had three in the space of six events following an 82 in??the Waste Management Phoenix Open and a career-worst 85 in the Memorial??Tournament two weeks ago.

He now has just four weeks to regroup before the Open Championship at St Andrews, and he still plans to play in the Greenbrier Classic in a fortnight.

But by then he is expected to be well outside the top 200 in the world rankings having fallen to 195th at the start of the week.

“I hit it a little bit better today. But again I made nothing. I didn’t make any putts the first two days,” said Woods, who is still undergoing swing changes under the guidance of biomechanics specialist Chris Como.

“I was hitting some spots where I could hit some putts, but I made nothing. I wanted to shoot five or six today, but I wanted to be on the other side of it!

“On a golf course like this you get exposed and you have to be precise and??dialled in. And obviously I didn’t have that. Obviously I need to get a little??better for the British Open and I’ll keep working at it.

“I just have to continue practicing, continue working on it, and hopefully it will be a little bit better.”