Woods on move with record pace
Tiger Woods salvaged his round during a shaky stretch in the middle and shot 4-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead at his AT&T National in Bethesda, Md., with the lowest 36-hole score ever at Congressional Country Club.
“Either I hit it pretty close to the hole, within 10 feet, or I was missing greens,’’ Woods said. “So it was a little bit of two ends today. It was nice to actually get a score out of it.’’
Woods was at 10-under 130, breaking by one shot the previous 36-hole score set last year by Tom Pernice Jr. and Jeff Overton. Woods had a one-shot lead over Rod Pampling, who had a 64 to boost his chances of qualifying for the British Open.
Defending champion Anthony Kim couldn’t build on his course-record 62 from the opening round. He played in the afternoon, after Woods set the target, and caught him briefly before missing too many fairways and having to settle for a 70 that put him two behind.
Jim Furyk, adding more star power to the leaderboard, had a 67 and was alone in fourth.
Perhaps more daunting than Woods’s record 36-hole score is his record on tour when he has at least a share of the 36-hole lead. He is 31-6, having won the last 11 times from that spot dating to 2004 at the Byron Nelson Championship.
Although some of the birdies were pure, such as 5-iron within 4 feet of a tucked flag on the 13th, it was his worst golf that showed why Woods contends as often as he does.
He twice hit tee shots into the rough and couldn’t get to the green. Another tee shot went into the bunker. He missed the green at a par 3 on the wrong side of the hole. From the middle of the fairway, he hit a miserable shot into a hollow of thick grass.
Woods played that five-hole stretch in 1 under.
LPGA - Laura Diaz tied Sarah Kemp for the second-round lead in the Jamie Farr
Diaz looked discouraged with her putt halfway to the final hole but then hopped in celebration when the 12-foot birdie try went in, giving her a 4-under 67 and a share of the lead with Kemp (63) at 11-under 131.
Morgan Pressel (68) was a shot back. Natalie Gulbis (65), Seon Hwa Lee (63), and Jiyai Shin (67) followed at 9 under.
Michelle Wie, seeking her first professional victory, three-putted the final hole for double bogey and a 69, leaving her three strokes behind.
European - Rafa Echenique took a two-stroke lead at the French Open after shooting a 4-under 67 in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
Echenique reached 10-under 132, ahead of a trio that included Martin Kaymer, who shot a 72 after tying the course record of 62 Thursday.