Tiger Woods score: Surge in Round 2 pushes Woods into contention at TPC Boston
Big Cat bounced back from a mediocre first round with a stellar performance on Saturday
Tiger Woods zipped up the leaderboard on Saturday in the second round of the 2018 Dell Technologies Championship with a flawless, bogey-free 66 to get to 4-under overall for the tournament. Woods is T21 and trails leader Webb Simpson by 7, but he's at least within striking distance with 36 holes to go in the second of four FedEx Cup Playoff tournaments.
The 66 was Woods' sixth on the year to go along with a single 64 and a pair of 65s.
After a poor ball-striking round on Friday in the first round, Woods finished in the top 10 in driving on Saturday and in the top 20 from tee to green. Maybe even more importantly his new TaylorMade putter didn't wane, and he gained multiple strokes on the field for the second consecutive round.
That led to birdies on holes Nos. 3, 7, 10, 14 and 17. He started feeling it a little bit at the end of the day after a solid first nine of 34. Woods hit three approach shots of 7 feet or less on the back nine and made two of those three putts. He made up for the lone miss with a 25-foot bomb on the long par-4 14th.
Woods has been remarkably accurate thus far off the tee, hitting 22-of-28 fairways over the first 36 holes. That's T3 in a field of nearly 100, which is not something I thought I would be writing about Tiger this week. He came into this tournament ranking No. 159 on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy.
Now Tiger will have to run down some hot hands in Simpson and the golfers just behind him at 10 under, Justin Rose and Tyrrell Hatton. Woods' Round 3 scoring average is No. 2 on the PGA Tour this year, but with the hole he dug himself with that 1-over 72 on Friday, he'll have to be flawless over the final two days if he wants to reach victory No. 80.
And this gets at something I noted on Friday. Woods, for everything he has done well this season, has not gotten off to very good starts at a lot of events. His 72 on Friday was no help to a 135th-place ranking in Round 1 scoring average so far in 2017-18, and now he has to take some chances he might not normally take over the final three days just to have a shot.
There will be fireworks on this course over the final two rounds -- there have been in the first two rounds and there always are -- the question is whether they'll come from Woods. For somebody whose primary struggle so far in 2018 has been with the driver, Round 2 was an encouragement. If he keeps that up off the tee, he might not win this week, but there will be plenty of trophies to raise in the not-so-distant future.
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