A message on the leaderboard behind him on the 12th green summed it up best: "It's tough at the top."
Woods found that out, making his second straight bogey after being in a tie for the lead. Greg Norman discovered the meaning when he whiffed with a wedge from the rough on No. 17, taking a triple bogey right when he had claimed the lead.
No need to explain it to Rodney Pampling, who led after the first round and missed the cut Friday after an 86.
Maybe Jean Van de Velde is next. Birdies on two of the last four holes gave him a 68 and the lead on a day in which Carnoustie Golf Links proved to be as cruel as it was crazy.
A Frenchman may be leading the British Open, but a Duck, a Tiger and a Shark are hot on his heels _ not to mention that zany, lava-eating Swede, Jesper Parnevik, who played with toilet paper crammed up his nose because of extreme hay fever and allergies.
"It was dripping constantly on the golf ball," Parnevik said. "It's pretty hard to play that way."
As if Carnoustie isn't tough enough.
On what became freaky Friday, most bizarre of all were the birdies _ a lot more than Thursday, but not enough to allow anyone to beat par after two rounds in wicked winds on the toughest links golf course in the world.
Determined not to repeat his collapse from the first round, Van de Velde played the last four holes in 2 under _ a six-shot difference from the first round _ for a 1-over 143. He led by one stroke over Angel Cabrera (69), known as "The Duck" in Argentina.
Parnevik, who nearly walked off the course after six holes because of the worst hay fever attack of his life, stuck around for a 71 and was at 145. Woods, Norman and Patrik Sjoland were another stroke back.
"I'm in good shape," Woods said.
The Shark wasn't immune to the insanity. The last time he whiffed a shot was when he was on his knees under a tea tree in Australia. He still managed a 70 and looks like he'll be a factor to win his third claret jug.
"I did what I wanted to do," Norman said. "I put myself in the position come weekend time."
Norman and Woods will be paired together Saturday for the first time in a major. Woods defeated Norman in a meaningless match in the Presidents Cup in December.
Seven players broke par, but 37 failed to break 80 _ down 20 from the previous day.
It was the first time a score over par led after 36 holes in a major championship since the 1974 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, where Ray Floyd, Hale Irwin, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer were all at 3-over 143.
Van de Velde's score was the highest in the British Open since the 144 posted by Brian Barnes, Tony Jacklin and Bob Charles in 1968 at Carnoustie, which was considerably shorter and played to a par 72.
It's not clear when the last time a 36-hole leader in the British Open was over par, because the Royal & Ancient didn't relate scores to par in the Open until 1964. The best estimate is 1931, when Henry Cotton and Jose Jurado had 147 at _ where else? _ Carnoustie.
Despite some unusual plots, Carnoustie was up to its old tricks.
"The golf course is going to penalize you, whether you hit good shots or bad shots," said Woods, who hit a little of both but played much better than his 72 indicated.
The cut was at 12-over 154, which knocked out defending champion Mark O'Meara and Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal (157), PGA champion Vijay Singh (161) and 19-year-old Sergio Garcia, who finished dead last at 172. Sandy Lyle arrived at the 18th green waving his putter with a white glove stuck on the end. He had an 81.
David Duval (75) just made the cut, meaning he gets two more cracks at Carnoustie _ unless he decides he would be better off picking up a pot of boiling water with his bare fingers.
"I don't know what you can learn about your game," Duval said. "Obviously, I need to hit it a lot better than I did and make more putts."
He could learn from Van de Velde. The Frenchman was at even-par in the first round when he came to the 15th and went bogey-bogey-double bogey-par. He arrived there Friday at 1 under for the round, turned to his caddie and said, "Let's try to put four pars in the bag."
Van de Velde did much better than that. He hit a 6-iron about 260 yards on the par-3 16th and made a 45-footer for birdie, then hit a wedge into 3 feet for birdie to take the lead.
The last Frenchman to win the Open was Errand Massy in 1907. Van de Velde has won just one European tour event _ the Roma Masters in 1993 _ but sees no reason why he can't continue his fine play.