Woods bounces back with 2nd-round 63 at Buick Open


GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Tiger Woods shot a season-low 63 Friday in the second round of the Buick Open and soared up the leaderboard with his best round in relation to par in four years.

Poor putting led to an awful start the previous day in his first tournament since missing the cut at the British Open.

“I took advantage of driving on a string again,” he said. “I hit my irons a little better and I made some putts.”

In relation to par, it was his best round since he had an 11-under 61 at the 2005 Buick Open. Woods began that tournament with a 71 just as he did Thursday. His last 63 helped him repeat at the 2007 PGA Championship.

Woods was 6 under through five holes for the best five-hole start of his career.

Michael Letzig (65) had the clubhouse lead at 12 under.

“That probably won’t be the lead at the end of the day,” Wood predicted.

Woods followed up what he called probably the worst putting day of his career with a good one, helping him go into the weekend at 10-under 134.

He teed off early Friday morning, hitting his first drive 342 yards straight into the blinding sun. He went on to a birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie tear to remove the remote chance he would miss the cut in consecutive events for the first time as a pro.

Woods had to break 70 on Friday to avoid putting himself in danger of missing the cut, but he said that possibility didn’t enter his mind.

“I just wanted to get off to a quick start and take advantage of the holes you’re supposed to take advantage of,” said Woods, who began the second round on the easier back nine at Warwick Hills. “I birdied a few more than I thought I would.”

When Woods got into trouble, his talent got him out of it.

At the par-5, 544-yard No. 13 — his fourth hole of the day — Woods’ driver left him behind a huge maple tree.

“I could have just pitched out sideways and left myself probably a 7-iron or 8-iron in there,” he said. “I got a little bit aggressive.”

It worked out for Woods.

He cut a 5-iron around perhaps the biggest tree at Warwick Hills, chipped onto the green from 50 feet and made about a 10-foot putt for birdie.

Woods eagled the par-4, 340-yard No. 12, sandwiching a spectacular shot between his pair of birdies on his front nine. His drive left him about 40 yards to the hole and a chip shot bounced on the green and landed in the cup.

“It was kind of luck,” he said. “I hit it too hard, but somehow it caught the bottom.”

John Daly almost hit rock bottom with an 88, one shot off his career-high 89 that he had last year at the British Open, and ended the tournament 20-over 160.


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