Woods Tied For 10th After Friday’s Round at Firestone
AKRON, Ohio – Tiger Woods has excelled on moving day this year, and will need another stellar performance Saturday to contend at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
He leads the PGA Tour with a 68.20 third-round scoring average, most recently firing a 5-under-par 66 at Carnoustie in the Open Championship.
Following a four birdie/two bogey 2-under 68 Friday, Woods is tied for 10th at 6-under 134, five strokes behind Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter and Justin Thomas.
“This golf course is soft and playable, I’ve never seen it like this at Firestone,” Woods said.
Having captured eight WGC Bridgestone-Invitational titles on the South Course, he has experienced all conditions. This week, the rain-softened fairways and greens are yielding exceptionally good scores, as 45 of the 71 players are in red figures.
“I’m going to have to go out there and post a low one and see what happens,” said Woods.
Lacking sharpness, he struggled off the tee and with the slow pace of the greens. For the second day in a row, he hit seven of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens.
“I felt better with my game than I did yesterday, for sure,” Woods said. “I just didn’t hit the putts hard enough.”
After using 27 Thursday, he had 29 on Friday.
The good news is that Woods stands 10th or higher after 36-holes in an official PGA Tour event for only the fifth time since his last win in 2013. It came at Firestone.
A late starter with Jason Day in hot and humid conditions, Woods hit a poor opening drive and it resulted in a bogey. As he often does, Woods rebounded quickly with consecutive birdies at the second and third holes. He added another at the par-3 fifth, then finished the front nine with four pars to turn in 2-under 33.
Woods’ lone birdie on the back side came at the par-3 12th, but he gave it back with a bogey at the par-4 13th. Woods closed with five-straight pars.
He’s a combined 3-under on the par-3s and 2-under on the par-5s.
Woods looks to get untracked Saturday. He tees off at 1:05 p.m. ET with Marc Leishman.
“It’s imperative for me to get the ball in the fairway and go ahead and attack,” said Woods.
Tee times for next week’s 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis were announced. On Thursday, he starts at 9:23 a.m. ET with Rory McIlroy and Thomas, the defending champion.