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Page last updated at 22:16 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 23:16 UK

Woods targeting record comeback

Tiger Woods
Woods is aware that his putter could cost him this week

Tiger Woods will have to equal the biggest 36-hole comeback in US Open history if he is to defend his crown and win a 15th major title this week.

The 33-year-old fired a one-under 69 in Saturday's second round at Bethpage Black to finish three-over, 11 strokes off the pace of US leader Ricky Barnes.

But Woods says he will have to improve his putting if he is to go close.

"The putts I hit well didn't go in and the putts I hit poorly weren't even close," said the world number one.

"I need to make a few more putts. And get it rolling."

If Woods is to edge to within three major victories of Jack Nicklaus's record haul of 18, he will have to emulate Lou Graham, who came from 11 shots back in the final two rounds to win the 1975 US Open at Medinah.

"I'd like to. There's no doubt. I'm hitting it well enough," Woods said.

"Unfortunately, my score doesn't reflect how I've been playing. But you never know. I've got 36 more holes over the next probably three days.


"It's one of those things where if I keep plugging along just like any US Open, make a birdie here and there, we'll see where it ends up."

The American endured the worst of Thursday's torrential rain and finished off a first-round 74 in damp conditions on Friday morning.

His half of the 156-man field then sat out the remainder of Friday as the other 78 players enjoyed pleasant, sunny conditions to mount their challenges.

"(Friday) was the day that did it. Especially on my half of the draw," Woods said. "I had to finish at even par, one-over par at the worst. That would have been a really good score.

"But instead I ended up at four over par, and that was about the mean for the day on my side, which is not what it's going to take to win a US Open. You have to do better than that."

When he began his second round on Saturday, Woods stood on the eventual cut at four-over, the second-lowest cut in US Open history.

He eventually made it with a shot to spare after trading four birdies and three bogeys, but admitted his putting could cost him.

"The frustrating thing is you have to hit the putt so hard... the greens are so bumpy and so slow," he said.

"They're getting slower and slower. You don't want to give it a little too much and run it past the hole because you know how bumpy it is coming back.

"It's hard to make yourself hit the putts that hard considering this is a US Open. Generally they're pretty quick. But it is one of those things. You have to make the adjustments."

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see also
US Open photos
20 Jun 09 |  Golf
Barnes grabs US Open halfway lead
20 Jun 09 |  Golf
Harrington rues miserable US Open
20 Jun 09 |  Golf
US Open day three as it happened
20 Jun 09 |  Golf
Weir sets early pace in US Open
19 Jun 09 |  Golf
Play called off at sodden US Open
19 Jun 09 |  Golf

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