Finally, Tiger Woods is looking like the Tiger Woods again.
After beginning this week’s Wyndham Championship with a 64, his lowest round in two years, Woods followed up with a 65 on Friday, pushing him to 11-under for the tournament. That puts him in a tie for first place with Tom Hoge.
Here’s a look at Eldrick’s scorecard for the round, which featured two bogeys, five birdies and an eagle:
It’s his first such start to a tournament in nearly a decade, per the Golf Channel’s Justin Ray:
For Woods, who has missed the last three major cuts, power has never been the problem–he has obviously been less accurate off the tee than average, but he still entered the day averaging nearly 300 yards per drive. His real weaknesses have been his middle and short games.
And both looked fantastic on Friday. Entering the day with a Greens in Regulation percentage of 63.29 (which would rank him 168th on Tour if he qualified), Woods hit an impressive 15 of 18 greens. He was deadly accurate with his irons nearly all day, striking the ball extremely well and nearly walking away with an ace on No. 12:
Then there was the putter. He struggled a bit on the front nine but quickly heated up just in time to climb the leaderboard. On No. 13, he buried a 25-footer for birdie:
Two holes later, a monster drive and perfect second shot put him 10 feet away for an eagle. With an opportunity to tie the leader, it’s a putt that 2015 Tiger wasn’t really expected to make, but 2015 Tiger drilled it right into the center of the cup, sending the Sedgefield crowd into a frenzy:
Does this mean Woods is “back”? Certainly not, but it’s obviously a tremendous sign for the 39-year-old going forward. It’s also a good sign for golf, because when Woods is playing this well, interest piques.
Expect all eyes to be on him this weekend.
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