Woods extends lead at Sherwood | other | Hindustan Times
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Woods extends lead at Sherwood

other Updated: Dec 04, 2010 10:02 IST
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Tiger Woods got off to a blazing start and a solid putting stroke enabled him to play bogey-free in the second round of the Chevron World Challenge on Friday for a 6-under 66 and a four-shot lead going into the weekend of his final tournament this year.

Woods was at 13-under 131, his best 36-hole score this year by six shots. And the four-shot lead over US Open champion Graeme McDowell had to be a refreshing change for a guy who has been at least nine shots back through 36 holes in seven tournaments this year.

"I've been here before, so it's not a strange feeling," Woods said. "It's just one of those things where tomorrow is the same game plan, just go out there and plot my way along and take care of the par 5s."

He did that again on a pleasant day in the Conejo Valley, and now has played the five par 5s at Sherwood Country Club in 10 under through two rounds. That included an eagle on the second hole, and perhaps Woods' most impressive shot of the day, if not the year.

He hit a 4-iron from a hanging lie so severe that it caused Woods to stumble down the hill after impact. The ball landed 8 feet away to the right of the pin.

And on the next hole, when Woods made a superb par save with a putter through a swale to about 3 feet, caddie Steve Williams walked off the green and said, "The tide is turning."

McDowell keeps plugging away in his sixth straight week of competition, playing well enough to keep pace except for a few mistakes. He took a double bogey on the ninth hole, and failed to save par from a bunker on the 18th.

He was at 9-under 135, and will be paired with Woods in the final group Saturday.

"Sometimes in a four-round tournament, you get a round where you don't really play your best," McDowell said. "To shoot 3 under and not play my best, I'm pretty happy with that."

Rory McIlroy played with Woods for the first time in competition - the Skins Game at the Memorial doesn't count -and was impressed with what he saw.

McIlroy caught flak at the Ryder Cup for saying he would love to play Woods if his game didn't improve, although he doesn't regret what he said - even Woods would agree with the "if his game didn't improve" part - and both played well.

McIlroy only fell apart at the end.

He hit 5-wood on the par-5 16th that covered the flag and just went over the back of the green. On firm turf, however, he hit a thin chip some 20 feet away, narrowly missed the birdie putt, then watched his 2{-foot par putt circle the cup and stay out.

On the 18th, McIlroy hit 7-iron over the green, chipped long off the back of the green and had to two-putt from 35 feet for a double bogey that gave him a 70.