The world number one, who started day two on two over, began with a birdie on the first hole in North Carolina.
But Woods, 34, went on to card three successive bogeys from the 10th before two straight double bogeys on the 14th and 15th to finish with 79. American Billy Mayfair leads on eight under following a second-round 68.
Argentina’s two-time major champion Angel Cabrera is one stroke adrift, while world number two and Masters champion Phil Mickelson leads fellow Americans JP Hayes, Dustin Johnson and Paul Goydos on six under.
However, the spotlight will be firmly focused on Woods, who carded his worst round for seven years as he finished eight shots over the cut which came at one over. His total of 153 was his highest ever score for the first two rounds at a PGA tournament.
“Whatever it was, it wasn’t good enough,” said Woods, making only his second appearance since his five-month hiatus following revelations about his personal life. “I chipped poorly, putted poorly, but for the most part I didn’t really hit the ball that poorly until the end when it was already pretty much out of reach.”
Woods’s last early exit came in the Open at Turnberry last year. Before that it was the 2006 US Open shortly after the death of his father Earl. And asked about missing the cut, he added: “It does bother me, no doubt. “But at least I get the weekend to watch and see how it’s done, how real players play golf, and hopefully I can piece it together for next week and be ready to go.”
Woods reached the turn at level par after swapping three birdies with three bogeys – but his game completely unravelled on the back nine as he dropped an incredible seven strokes. The 14-time major winner’s troubles began at the 10th as he bogeyed the par-five hole before dropping further shots at the 11th and 12th par fours.
Although he regained his composure to par the 13th, his game completely imploded at the par-four 14th, carding six when he pitched over the green and into the water. Worse was to follow when he four-putted the par-five 15th, missing a 30-incher, but he managed to consolidate by carding three pars on the final three holes.
“At that point in time it was pretty much out of reach and I was just trying to stay out of Angel’s way,” Woods added, referring to playing partner Cabrera. “He was the one leading the tournament and that’s what you’re supposed to do.” Open champion and Ryder Cup team-mate Stewart Cink, who also missed the cut, said: “I’ve seen him struggle like that off the tee.
“But he’s usually the magician that gets the ball up and down from everywhere, hits some miraculous shots out of the trees and stuff. “But you’ve got to remember, he hasn’t played a lot of golf since about November. It’s hard to just come back and be the magician instantly.” Woods has previously only missed the cut five times in 240 professional starts.
His half-way exit was his first on home soil since the 2006 US Open and the first at a PGA Tour event since the Disney Classic in 2005. “He’s obviously got things in his mind other than what’s going between the ropes right now,” added Cink. “You’ve got to learn how to balance what’s going on in your life with your golf. And if you’re not in a great place mentally, then it sometimes shows up out there.”
However, second-round leader Mayfair predicted Woods’s exit will only galvanise his considerable resolve for next week’s Players Championship at Sawgrass. “Give this guy a chance, though. He’ll bounce back, we all know that,” Mayfair said. “Everyone on tour knows that. By him missing a few cuts here and there, it’s just going to make him come back even stronger.
“I don’t think anyone out here is worried about Tiger, and I’m sure Tiger is not worried about it right now.” Ireland’s Padraig Harrington led the European challenge at level par after a second straight 72, while English trio Lee Westwood, Ross Fisher and Greg Owen and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy made the cut with no room to spare at one over.
American David Duval and Britain’s Martin Laird and Brian Davis were among those who missed out, though.