KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina (AP) -Putting beautifully across Kiawah Island's paspalum greens, Tiger Woods took sole possession of the lead Friday on a windy day at the PGA Championship.
Woods made birdies at Nos. 2 and 4 to move to 5 under par through seven holes, and he found himself alone in first place after Gary Woodland and Ryo Ishikawa misplayed the par-3 eighth. Woods is trying for his 15th major championship and first since 2008.
It was his putter that put him atop the leaderboard. He made an 18-footer to save par on No. 3, and his birdie putt from about 40 feet on the following green dropped in as well.
Woods needed only nine putts through the first seven holes.
The Ocean Course was switched to seashore paspalum grass in 2003, and although Woods isn't that familiar with it, the surface seems to be suiting him well.
He's also swinging pretty well. Woods' tee shot on the par-5 second carried so far it came to rest in an area where fans were walking across the fairway at the time. He reached the green in two and made a birdie.
Vijay Singh shot a 3-under 69 and was a stroke behind Woods. In the morning, many players were just trying to survive with the wind whipping around the course. The 49-year-old Singh hasn't won on the PGA or European tours since 2008, but after finishing tied for ninth at last month's British Open, he figures to be in solid position heading into this weekend.
At one point, Singh, Phil Mickelson (71) and Michael Hoey (70) were the only players with completed second rounds under par.
"It's one of the tougher conditions I've ever played, and put this golf course in the middle of all that, it becomes even more brutal," Singh said. "I would have taken 72 when I started off."
Woodland led before a double bogey at No. 8 dropped him to 4 under. Ishikawa was at 4 under as well after a bogey on the eighth.
First-round leader Carl Pettersson was also tied for second.
Rory McIlroy and defending champion Keegan Bradley were part of a group another stroke back.
The past 16 majors have been won by 16 different players.
Singh's last major title was the PGA Championship in 2004, and he's been solid so far this week. He began moving up the leaderboard Friday with birdies on three of the first seven holes.
"I just started believing that I can do it," Singh said. "I was so negative for a long, long time. I had great sessions on the driving range and just couldn't take it on the golf course. I finally started to believe that I could do what I'm doing on the driving range.
"A little tweak to my golf swing during the British Open kind of helped, as well."
After mostly calm conditions for the opening round, players returned to find flags blowing stiffly in the wind and some threatening clouds hanging low. It eventually began raining, but there were no delays early in the second round.
"You have to challenge and take on the crosswinds," Mickelson said. "We had about a five- or 10-minute spurt there where the wind just started gusting 35 or so and it started raining."
Despite the elements, Mickelson was hanging around at even par through 36 holes.
Alex Noren wasn't so fortunate. He started the day at 5 under, a shot out of the lead, before shooting 80. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was also a shot behind Pettersson after one round. He bogeyed his first two holes Friday en route to a 78.
"It's playing tough in this wind, especially," Fernandez-Castano said. "During the round, I was trying to set up little goals just to keep me motivated."
Adam Scott shot a 75 to fall to 1 under, but he remains in contention after missing out on a British Open victory by bogeying his last four holes.
"I certainly feel like I've been received very well the last couple weeks since I've been back and it's great to have support," Scott said. "I may have won a few more fans. Unfortunately it was from not winning the tournament, but maybe I can change that here over the weekend."