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MCCARTHY: Tiger tame at U.S. Open

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Tiger Woods wasn’t ready to blame pain for his ho-hum play this week at the U.S. Open, but he wasn’t exactly ready not to blame it either.

Woods began Saturday with two bogeys over his first three holes and finished with a level-par 71. Entering Sunday at Pebble Beach at even-par, it’s the second major championship in a row where Woods has not been in contention since winning the Masters in April.

Woods was spotted with physio tape on his neck during Saturday’s round, which saw the coolest temperatures of the week in the Monterey Peninsula.

“When it’s cold like this everything is achy, it’s just part of the deal,” he said.

Woods was asked to compare the way his neck was feeling to how it felt when he pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in February.

“It’s all the same,” he said. “It’s been like that for years. The forces have to go somewhere. And if they’re not in the lower back, they’re in the neck, and if not, they’re in the mid-back and if not they go to the knee. You name it.”

“Let me put it this way, I feel every shot I hit. I think that’s always going to be the place from here going forward.”

Woods said of course he wishes it was sunny and warm, but wouldn’t go as far to blame his mediocre play on the weather, or how his neck and back feel.

“I’ve had my chances to post good rounds today, this week,” he said.

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