Mar 10th, 2018
Tiger closes on lead as McIlroy misses cut
Question... will Tiger go for it on Saturday?...
Words: Tim Southwell
There's no doubt about it. Tiger Woods' return to the PGA Tour is live and dangerous. He's two shots after the lead going into moving day. Begging the question. Will he go for it or continue his steady-as-she-goes approach?
"I'm getting a feel for it, finding the rhythm of rounds and not having a problem posting scores," said Tiger after shooting a second round 68 (-3) to add to his first round 70 (-1). "I've got a chance going into the weekend. I keep getting a little bit better here and there, making these subtle tweaks. I needed a little bit more tournament time in and I've done that."
Tiger is two shots behind Canada's Corey Conners - who has never won on the PGA Tour - with Paul Casey, Brandt Snedeker, Kelly Kraft and Ryan Palmer all also on -4.
Keegan Bradley's squirrel trouble...
The 42-year-old, who had back surgery last year, is two shots off the lead, while Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy missed the cut in Florida.
Tiger started his second round on the back nine at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club and notched birdies with putts of six foot on his third and fourth holes, the second coming after a pin-point 187-yard tee shot.
Something we never thought we'd see. Tiger version 4.0 making kids' days...
A tee shot to within three feet of the pin on his 13th hole gave him a fourth birdie of the day and after thrilling fans with a trademark fist pump when he saved par on his 16th hole, he dropped his only shot by missing a five-foot putt on his last hole.
When 2018 began Tiger told us he was aiming to build form for the Masters in April. Not even the staunchest Tiger fan really thought this was anything other than wishful thinking. But here we are with Tiger in the shake-up at a tricky golf course which has claimed some big names. Neither of Tiger's illustrious playing partners made the cut. Jordan Spieth (+5) and Henrik Stenson (+6) will not be bothering the scorers this weekend. Ditto Ian Poulter (+7), Matthew Fitzpatrick (+6) and Ross Fisher (+7)
Oh, yes, and this guy is leading!
McIlroy started round two three over for the tournament and dropped two more shots to end on +5, two shots outside the cut. Three-putt bogeys on the second, seventh and 10th holes kyboshed his chances. Fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell sneaked inside the cut line at +3, while Scotland's Russell Knox (+1) and England's Luke Donald (+2) also made the weekend.
Quite brilliant from Kelly Kraft...
Watch out for Justin Rose at the weekend. JR made a brilliant 39ft putt for his third birdie of the day on the 15th as he moved into contention on -3. Paul Casey - who is a shot better off - hit three birdies on the back nine as he chases a first win since 2014.
Go Sergio! He's not out of it at level par...
What a weekend in prospect. Nurse, hand me the popcorn. And beer.