Tiger Posts 5-Under 67 in Round 2
DUBLIN, Ohio – Tiger Woods had a chance to go low Friday in the second round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Although he fired a 5-under-par 67 to play himself back into contention, it could have been special.
“Yea, I’m disappointed,” he said. “I did not putt well today. I turned a 62 or 63 into a 67.”
Woods recorded five birdies and an eagle, but missed a handful of putts inside 10 feet.
“I didn’t feel the putter head flowing,” said Woods, who is tied for 24th at 5-under 139, six shots behind co-leaders Kyle Stanley and Joaquin Niemann. “I didn’t feel it releasing.”
Starting in the early afternoon with Jason Dufner and Justin Rose, Woods bogeyed the par-4 first hole, three-putting from 30 feet. He ran his uphill birdie attempt three feet past, then lipped out the comebacker.
Then he went to work.
Woods spun a wedge from 145 yards four feet from the cup at the par-4 third to get back to even par. He added another at the par-5 fifth, where his second shot finished just right of the green and he putted to three feet.
After a near-miss birdie from 15 feet at the par-4 sixth, Woods blasted a big drive at the par-5 seventh, then flushed an iron over the green into the back bunker. Facing a delicate, downhill shot and not much green to work with, Woods showed off his touch by softly landing his explosion shot 20 feet above the hole and it trickled to within three of the cup for an easy birdie.
Woods made a nice save at the par-3 eighth, getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker on the right, finishing if off with a five-foot putt. At the par-4 ninth, he flighted a nice approach shot 15 feet below the hole and buried the birdie putt to turn in 3-under 33.
Woods gave himself another good birdie opportunity at the par-4 10th, missing from 15 feet, then pushed his drive into the heavy rough on the right at the par-5 11th. Forced to lay up with his second shot, he electrified the crowd by holing a wedge for an eagle from 95 yards, spinning it back about 10 feet. Woods raised his arms skyward, swung his right arm in celebration and fist-bumped caddie Joe LaCava, enjoying the moment with the cheering fans.
The unlikely eagle moved Woods to 5-under for the round and into a tie for 19th, five strokes off the lead.
Clearly dialed in, Woods almost dunked a 9-iron at the downhill, water-guarded par-3 12th, the ball striking the flag and stopping five feet from the hole. But before he putted, an air horn sounded and play was suspended due to an approaching storm.
Following a 90-minute delay, Woods returned to No. 12 and pulled the putt, a tough break given the wave of momentum he was riding.
“I wanted to hit that putt, I wanted to keep it going,” said Woods. “I was in the rhythm of the round.”
His frustration on the greens continued at the par-4 13th, where he rimmed out another short birdie attempt. But he made up for it with a nice 15-footer for birdie at the par-5 15th.
Woods flagged his tee shot at the par-3 16th, setting himself up for another great birdie chance inside 10 feet but was unable to convert. After missing the green to the left at the par-4 17th, he couldn’t save par, missing from four feet.
At the par-4 18th, Woods’ drive caught a fairway bunker, but once again he hit a great recovery shot into the middle of the green and two-putted for a closing par.
Unable to take advantage of the par-5s on Thursday, Woods toured them in 5-under on Friday.
As for his back, which was tight in the first round, he was fine Friday.
“I felt loose,” he said. “I’m going to have those days when I’m not quite there.”
Woods starts third round play Saturday at 11:20 a.m. ET and is paired with Patrick Reed.