Tiger Woods studied the line from both directions, consulted his caddie, then settled in over a 15-foot par putt on the final hole that was packed with the quiet tension normally found in a playoff at a major championship.
It was only a Friday at the Byron Nelson Championship, a rare time for Woods to feel so much heat. The putt wasn't for a trophy, but to keep alive the longest cut streak in US PGA Tour history.
"Every guy in the locker room was watching," Jesper Parnevik said. "We're not allowed to bet, but guys were offering US$1,000 he would make it."
That's because Woods always seems to do just that, but not this time.
His putt broke gently toward the right side of the cup, then straightened out and trickled inches by, a dramatic end to one of the greatest streaks in sports.
"I just had a tough day," Woods said. "Things I don't normally do, I did today.
"What is it? Seven years? That's not too bad. I just tried to bandage my way to the finish. I figured it was even par, and I needed to make par."
A bogey on the 18th hole at Cottonwood Valley gave Woods a 2-over 72 and put him at 1 over par for the tournament, missing the cut by a shot for the first time in seven years and 142 tournaments.
"It was always going to come to an end eventually, wasn't it?" Robert Allenby said. "Obviously, it was a hell of a feat. That record will never be broken."
The streak dated to the 1998 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, when Woods withdrew after two rounds instead of returning nearly seven months later to complete the rain-delayed tournament. The cut is made after 54 holes at Pebble Beach because it is played on three courses. The only other time he missed the cut in his 10 years on tour was at the 1997 Canadian Open at Royal Montreal.
Sean O'Hair, the 22-year-old rookie who turned pro before he left high school, shot 65 to join journeyman Brett Wetterich (67) atop the leaderboard at 9-under 131.
Vijay Singh, who likely will return to No. 1 in the world next week, had a 67, and Phil Mickelson shot 66 to be among those four shots behind. Ernie Els birdied the final hole for a 72 and was at 4-under 136.