The sixth straight day on the golf course for Tiger Woods turned out to be his best on Friday, as golf’s greatest superstar surged to the top of the leaderboard in the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a second-round 65. However, Woods was adamant that as solid of a round as he played this afternoon, it could have been better.
He was right.
Tiger found 17-of-18 greens in regulation, and the one green he “missed” was merely inches off the official putting surface. However, Tiger’s ball-striking wasn’t as crisp as the number would indicate.
Woods was able to stack up a round full of “good” misses that left him with lengthy birdie putts, and Woods tempo was solid with the putter all day. Four of his seven birdies came on Par 5′s, and three of those four birdies were cleanup putts after eagle opportunities. It was the sort of round where the scoreboard simply didn’t indicate the fact that Woods left strokes on the course.
However, that’s a good sign for Tiger Woods, and despite everything going on with Hank Haney’s book and the injury issues, Tiger has clearly immersed himself in golf.
For nearly 15 years now, everything Tiger Woods has said or done has been under the most extreme scrutiny imaginable, and since his very public domestic issues, Tiger has made the transition from superstar athlete to tabloid mainstay. Yet, for the past week Woods has looked as focused as he ever has in his career — not his best, but certainly close to his most focused.
It’s no secret that Tiger hasn’t found himself hoisting a tour-sanctioned trophy in quite some time, but with the Masters just a week away, and Woods playing in a tournament he’s won six times, now is as good of a time as ever to break the streak. Tiger Woods is notted up with Charlie Wi, who finished his round with birdies on four of his last six holes to get back to 10-under.
Tiger Woods admittedly thought it would be Jason Duffner that would be his playing partner on Saturday after Duffner found himself as the leader in the clubhouse at nine-under, but after Wi’s strong finish, which took place after Woods had returned to the clubhouse, it will be Tiger Woods and Wi teeing it up last on Saturday. However, as great of a story as it would be to see Wi get his first tour victory and receive a berth in his first ever Masters, it will be Woods that the massive gallery (fans and media) is focused on.
Nothing out of the ordinary there.