Tiger Woods score: Six birdies in Round 2 leads to big move at 2018 PGA Championship
Big Cat played really well on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and is back in the tournament
ST. LOUIS -- After a stalled out Round 1 left Tiger Woods looking like his major season was on life support, Big Cat revived himself in Round 2 at the 2018 PGA Championship with a 4-under 66 to get to 4 under for the week, six back of leader Gary Woodland after 36 holes.
Woods' second round at Bellerive extended into Saturday morning as weather suspended play with his ball sitting in the eighth fairway and three birdies already under his belt. Woods started from there at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday and made his fourth birdie in his first eight holes.
A delicate three-hole stretch to open the second nine led to two bogeys (but also another birdie). Tiger three-putted, failed to get up and down from 33 feet and any inkling of still being in -- like, truly in -- the event was fading. But again he summoned the thing he always seems to be able to summon at these majors, and he played the rest of the way 1 under for the 66.
The apex came at the par-5 17th. Woods sat at 3 under and knew he needed at least one more to get into the cusp of contention. From outside the top 25 with two rounds left to inside the top 20. He hit a launched, cutting 3-wood that looked like the fake ball flights television producers use to show you how you're supposed to play a hole. It came up a little short, but the sound and shape of that shot took your breath away. It was a flight he used all day. Despite Bellerive's tendency toward left-to-right holes, Woods hit these low, bullet cuts off the tee and hit six of eight fairways on the 11 holes he finished on Saturday.
The problem for Woods now is two-fold. He's six back, which is obviously an issue. But he also has names like Justin Rose, Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Francesco Molinari, Justin Thomas, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka either tied with him or out in front of him. That's a tough mountain to climb in a tournament where the course is not yielding many high scores. Not all of those golfers will play poorly, and even the ones that do will only be slightly over par.
Tiger likely needs something wild (think 64-63) to give himself a chance at major championship No. 15. However, even with something good on Saturday, Sunday will be maniacal. Either Bellerive's quarters are tighter than most (this might be true) or there are more people here than I can remember at any event (majors included) since I've been covering golf.
"I don't think I've ever played in front of that many people," said playing partner Justin Thomas. "I was saying that to [caddies Joey LaCava and Jimmy Johnson]. This is the first real Tiger effect, I guess you could say. I've played with him a handful of times in tournaments but haven't exactly had crowds like this, so it's pretty incredible."
Fans were double digits deep with the sun yet to clear the trees, and Tiger gave them what they came for. He knows he'll have to deliver even more on Saturday afternoon, but if he does, Bellerive will just be a block of humans moving as one around the course on Sunday hoping for magic. Like a general out in front of his troops.
There are 36 holes of major championship golf left in 2018, and Tiger needs something special following a must-have 66. Big dogs all over the board and Woods, desperate to taste what he tasted three weeks ago at The Open, trying to run them down.
That's why we do this, right? All the talk about course strategy and weather and long shots and legacies. But the reason we show up -- the reason tens of thousands of St. Louis golf fans have poured through the gates this week is to see a legend opened up by a stacked board, to see what he has left. To see what he can do.
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