Aaron Baddeley and Jonathan Byrd were well on their way to the top of the leaderboard yesterday at the BMW Championship in Lemont, Ill., when Tiger Woods figured he better get going if he didn't want to be left behind.
That's about the time he started losing his swing and finding his putter, which wasn't a bad combination at Cog Hill.
Baddeley returned from a three-hour rain delay by making three straight birdies and finished strong for a 6-under-par 65, giving him a share of the lead with Byrd (69) going into the weekend of the third tournament in these PGA Tour playoffs.
But it was difficult to ignore Woods, whose second straight 67 put him one shot behind along with Barclays winner Steve Stricker (66), Justin Rose (69), and Camilo Villegas (69).
Woods birdied the par-5 ninth by slicing his tee shot into the woods, pulling his second shot behind more trees and then hooking an 8-iron out of the rough to 15 feet and making the putt. "It's all about the angles," he said leaving the green, as if that was the strategy all along.
He sliced another tee shot into the rough on the par-5 11th, left a wedge woefully short, and then made a 40-foot birdie putt. On the par-5 15th, he sent his second shot over the green into the bunker, took forever to play the shot because a butterfly kept floating in front of him, then knocked it out to 10 feet and made the putt.
"I started out hitting it great, and I felt so bad over the putts," Woods said. "Then I lost my swing and felt great over the putts. It's just one of those weird things about golf."
LPGA - Rookie Kristy McPherson shot a 6-under 66 to share the early clubhouse lead at the rain-soaked LPGA NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers, Ark.
McPherson, Teresa Lu, and Katherine Hull were all a stroke ahead of Sherri Turner. Those four were among the few who finished the first round by the early evening.
European Masters - Oliver Wilson completed a 6-under 65 in a delayed first round, then added a second-round 66 to take the halfway lead at Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland.