Tiger Woods score: Near round of the day puts him in contention at WGC-Mexico Championship

After a bizarre first round in which he labored to an even-par 71, Tiger Woods settled in on Friday in Round 2 of the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship with a 5-under 66. It was one of the handful of best rounds on a course that's proven itself to be a little tricky thus far with a field average over par in each of the first two rounds. So Big Cat is now officially in the thick of this event after climbing onto the first page of the leaderboard. Let's take a closer look at his second round on Friday.

Front nine (3-under 33): Woods got off to a nice start on the back nine (he started on the 10th hole) with three birdies in his first six holes. A bogey at No. 17 was the only one of the day, but he bounced back quickly with a long birdie putt at No. 18 to go out in 33.

Back nine (2-under 33): Woods was clean on the front side with no bogeys, two birdies and the shot of the tournament thus far. After making birds at Nos. 3 and 5, Woods came to the par-4 ninth looking for one more to push the score to 6 under. He blocked his drive out to the right a little bit and into a trap, but then he hit the filthiest shot I've seen from him this season into the green. Watch the side spin on this!

Woods missed the putt, but that shot was as fun and as good as you'll see from anybody on a Friday afternoon in the middle of a February event.

What went well: Woods was the No. 1 putter in the field on Friday and only lost strokes to the field on five holes. He wasn't great again off the tee (more on that in a bit), but his flat stick made up for it and provided the juice he needed to climb up a loaded leaderboard.

What went poorly: Woods can't get off the tee box. On Thursday, it was one huge blow up hole (hitting it out of bounds on the par-4 first). On Friday, it wasn't one hole that undid him but rather a series of mediocre drives and iron shots off tee boxes that he had to make up for. He lost strokes to the field once again off the tee. If he corrects that on Saturday and Sunday, we could be in for a show.

One great hole: Tiger hit a big, cutting approach on the par-4 fifth hole from 141 yards away and behind some trees. He somehow got the ball to spin back toward the hole and ended up making birdie. It was the less-awesome (but more effective) version of what we saw on the ninth hole above.

Moment of the day: This Little Cat got a ball from his hero after watching him on the front nine of the course. Pretty cool moment and pretty big reminder of just how big of a draw Woods is, especially in a country where he's never played before.

Where he stands: Woods is into the top 10 after 36 holes of play, and while he has monster names ahead of him (Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy included), he's at least given himself a chance. Bigger picture: Woods has to stop getting off to average Round 1 starts. 

He's played three Round 1s and three Round 2s so far this year, and this was his first round in the 60s in any of them. Compare that to two of four weekend rounds in the 60s, and you get some excitement from Woods on the final two days but no real chance to win the golf tournament. He'll need a big start on Saturday to really consider himself part of this one. Dare I say, a Riviera-like 3-3-3-3-3 start.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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