Tiger Woods is in contention heading into the weekend at the Quicken Loans National after firing a stellar five-under par second round of 66. Woods currently sits at eight-under par after Friday’s round and is only three shots off the lead set by Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa.
The former world number one started playing like his old self Friday afternoon, sticking iron shots close to the pin for tap-in birdies and drilling in lengthy birdie putts. Woods, who started on the back nine of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, was one-under for the round after playing his first nine. Then Tiger showed flashes of brilliance during his inward nine and carded four birdies during that stretch, knocking in a lengthy 33-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole. His only blemish on the card was a bogey at the par-five 14th where he popped his drive only 160 yards down the fairway and three putted for the bogey.
According to stats provided by the PGA Tour’s website, Tiger hit 10 out of 14 fairways and 14 out of 18 greens in regulation, and needed only 28 putts.
After the round, he spoke to the media and commented about his overall progress with his game, stating that he felt confident that he could win this week and begin to return to his former dominant self again.
“I feel like I can still compete and win. I won five times a year and a half ago. I think that’s a pretty good number. It’s not that long ago that I was Player of the Year. I know my ranking is awful, but I was away from the game for a long period of time plus playing poorly compounded it. I just need to keep playing and eventually I’ll climb back.”
These past two days, the new Tiger Woods seems, well, quite like the old Tiger Woods. He’s swinging more in rhythm, flushing his iron shots close, and making birdie putts and crucial par saves. Woods is only trailing the lead by three strokes, and actually has a legitimate chance to hoist the trophy this week. His name on the first page of a leaderboard heading into the weekend is certainly a sight the golfing world has been waiting to see for the past year and a half, and certainly a promising sight for all who are watching.
Woods, who has fallen from the summit of the Official World Golf Rankings all the way down to 266th, will need a victory this week to be eligible to compete at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational next week, an event that he has won eight times. Certainly, if he continues to play as well as he has these past two days, victory is within reach. Tiger will tee off at 1:20 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday in pursuit of a victory amidst a disappointing 2015 season.
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)