"I hit 20 bunkers in two days. I had four or five water balls," Woods said. "That's not going to add up to a very good score."
This was the third time he's missed the cut in a major as a professional, following the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot (shortly after the death of the his father) and the British Open at Turnberry two years ago.
Woods finished in appropriate fashion at the 18th, putting his tee shot in the bunker, his second shot in the water and finishing with a bogey. He was on the sideline for three months - missing the last two majors - because of an injured leg. Woods returned a week ago at Firestone, proclaiming himself fully fit and ready to go for his 15th major title.
That will have to wait.
Woods is dropping out of public view again for another long layoff. He won't attempt to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoff, so his next tournament will be in November when he heads to Australia.
His next shot at a major is eight months away, at the Masters.
"I get some time off again," Woods said. "But now I'm healthy enough to work on my game. It's going to be good. Sean [Foley, his coach] and I did not really have an opportunity to sit down and do a lot of work."
Woods walked toward the 18th green, receiving polite - almost sympathetic - applause. Hardly the roar he once heard.
Forget making the cut; Woods didn't even beat five of the 20 PGA of American club pros who were in the field.
West Chester's Sean O'Hair just made the cut with a two-round 144.
Even so, Woods tried to put a positive spin on his miserable performance.
"It's a step back in the sense I didn't make the cut," Woods said. "But it's a giant leap forward in that I played two straight weeks and I'm healthy."
If Woods missing the cut was the biggest surprise, the golfers at the top of the leaderboard were close behind.
Keegan Bradley, playing in his first major, shot a 64. Jason Dufner, who had missed the cut in five of his last six events, made 65. Both were at 5-under 135.
"I'm playing some good golf," said Bradley, the nephew of LPGA Hall of Famer Pat Bradley. "When you're playing well, it seems easy. I'm hitting a lot of greens and putting some of the best I've putted all year."
Steve Stricker came into the round with a 2-stroke lead after a bogey-free 63 - tied for the lowest score ever in a major and just a hair away from having the record all to himself. He missed a 10-footer for birdie and a 62 at his final hole Thursday.
There would be a lot more of those on Friday. Suddenly, one of the game's steadiest putters couldn't make one, lipping out a couple of short attempts and ceding the lead with four bogeys on the front side. He slumped to a 74 and was 2 shots off the lead.
Jim Furyk (65), D.A. Points (67), John Senden (68) and Scott Verplank (69) were 1 shot behind at 136.
Rory McIlroy, even with his wrist wrapped, hasn't given up challenging on the weekend, even after struggling to a 73 that included a triple bogey. He was 8 shots off the lead.