Woods Not Happy With German Play

Friday, May 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ALVESLOHE, Germany (AP) — Tiger Woods took an angry half-swing after missing a 4-foot birdie putt Friday at the Deutsche Bank Open. Clearly, the best golfer in the world wasn't having a great day.

Bogeys at the 16th and 18th holes ended a charge he was making at Miguel Angel Jimenez, the Spanish Ryder Cup player who leads by two strokes midway through the tournament with an 8-under-par 136.

But Woods, who looked frustrated marching down the fairways, said he wasn't down after dropping the two strokes. He finished with a 2-under 70, leaving him four shots back.

``Not down — I just wasn't as excited,'' he said. ``It wasn't an ideal finish, but I didn't put myself out of the tournament.''

Jimenez shot a 3-under 69 on a cool breezy day to keep his first-round lead in the $2.7 million event. Next came Irishman Paul McGinley, who had a 65, and Italian Emanuele Canonica.

Woods, the star attraction in a strong field, began his back nine with three birdies in five holes. The last, a 10-foot birdie putt on his 14th hole, moved him within two shots of Jimenez.

But that was as close as Woods came, hitting his second shot into a trap to bogey the 16th. He missed another long putt for par on the 18th.

Jimenez lost his lead only briefly during the round.

McGinley, trying for his third title in nine years on the Europan PGA Tour, put together eight birdies for his 65. He shared the lowest round of the day with Jose Maria Olazabal. But Olazabal opened with a 75, so he was tied with Woods at 140.

Jimenez said he wasn't focused on the American superstar chasing him, even if Woods has drawn all the attention at the event for which he reportedly is being paid $1 million appearance fee.

``Woods is a great player and the world No. 1, but there are 150 players in the field and a lot of good players,'' Jimenez said. ``You have to focus on the golf course, not one person.''

Jimenez had already given Woods trouble during the American's last European visit. He pushed Woods to a playoff hole at the World Golf Championships at Valderrama, Spain, last September before the American's birdie gave him a $1 million first prize.

``It was a nice solid round,'' Jimenez said. ``I'm playing very consistently.''

Spain's Sergio Garcia was at 142 and Colin Montgomerie at 143. Both had second-round 70s.