Strong off the tee and hitting his shots with exquisite control, Tiger Woods seemed like his old self.
He turned in the day’s best score with a bogey-free 6-under-par 66 yesterday to surge into contention at the Dubai Desert Classic. The round put him four strokes behind leader Rory McIlroy and gave him every reason to believe he can win for the first time in more than a year.
Woods was part of a powerhouse group that included top-ranked Lee Westwood and second-ranked Martin Kaymer. But on this day, Woods played as if he were unquestionably No. 1 again.
“It felt good today. I hit a lot of good shots,’’ said Woods, who likened his game to the way he played at December’s
Woods, who has been outdriving his playing partners, added accuracy to his blistering drives and approach shots. And unlike Thursday, when he missed makable putts and hit approach shots wide of the green, the winner of 14 majors routinely gave himself chances.
He finished with six birdies and was at 7-under 137 entering the weekend.
McIlroy followed his opening 65 with a 68. A shot behind at 10 under were Sergio Garcia (67) and Thomas Aiken (67), followed by Steve Webster (68) at 8 under.
PGA — Steve Marino made seven birdies for the second straight day and shot a 6-under 66 to build a four-shot lead at 13-under 131 in the Pebble Beach (Calif.) National Pro-Am.
D.A. Points recovered from a rugged start at Spyglass Hill and posted a 2-under 70 to reach 9 under after two rounds. Keegan Bradley of Hopkinton shot a 69 at Spyglass and is another shot behind at 8 under.
Champions — Jay Don Blake shot an 8-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Tom Lehman after one round of the
Australian Ladies Masters — American Stacey Lewis and Australian Kristie Smith each shot 7-under 65s to share the lead at 12-under 132 after two rounds at Gold Coast. Yani Tseng (66) is a stroke behind.