Woods sneaks into weekend with closing birdie

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He missed the green to the left and chipped through the green before two-putting.

He birdied No. 10 to reach even par and then had two straight pars before the 13th left him glum-faced. Tiger is back playing the weekend on a PGA Tour event for the first time in nearly 900 days.

The 42-year-old hit a level-par 72 in his opening round at Torrey Pines on Thursday - his first taste of PGA Tour action for 12 months.

Continue to follow Tiger on the course this weekend with the Farmers Insurance Open Leaderboard. Both shot even-par 144.

Another bird on the par-5 fifth (his 14th hole of the day) gave Tiger fans hope that their hero might make it to the weekend after all. He kept his patience, chipped in for eagle at the turn, and then finished with a attractive approach to 12 feet on the par-5 eighth and a 20-foot birdie putt on the ninth. Palmer finished eagle-birdie for a 5-under 67 that leaves him 11 under overall.

Woods said he would have left his first putt at the final hole short if he had not spent extra time assessing the slope. He coaxed in the 3-footer for birdie to move to 1 under and inside the cutline.

He didn't have his best stuff from tee-to-green. He's been wild off the tee, painfully inconsistent with his iron play and not exactly vintage with his putter, although there were some signs of life on this front as a cool afternoon along the Pacific Ocean turned to dusk.

Donaldson was on 13-under 131 at the halfway stage, with Li Haotong second, one shot behind after a consecutive 66s.

The biggest distraction on another gorgeous day at Torrey Pines was a pair of bogeys early. "It was a double breaking putt and just hung on the lip". San Diego native Phil Mickelson (68, South) is among five golfers who are five shots back.

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Woods showed plenty of frustration on the first five holes when he opened bogey, par, par, par, bogey.

"He seemed to have command, whether he went at it (the ball) hard or went at it soft, whether he wanted to launch it up in the air or take it down low", the American told reporters.

So there are still two days to go, but what have we learned so far from this performance in this first official start back?

While Woods still searches for consistency, Palmer just needs to repeat what he's done over the first two rounds to earn his first PGA Tour win since 2010.

Woods' approach on No. 18 landed more than 60 feet from the hole. On No. 2, he overshot the green and grimaced.

Needing a birdie at the par-5 ninth to be secured a spot on the weekend, Woods knocked his drive into the right rough.

Woods is starting his season at a course that has been good to him over the years.

That did not, however, dim the enthusiasm of the galleries that thronged around him on Torrey Pines' South Course - scene of his 14th and most recent Major title at the 2008 US Open. He had two back surgeries that fall, and fusion surgery on his lower back last April.