If you had any doubt that Tiger Woods was still the best golfer on the planet, you should watch the second round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. The world’s number one player had it hitting on all cylinders Friday afternoon and was righteously rewarded with a ten under par 62 and a two-stroke lead at the Sherwood Forest Country Club.
Six is the magic number. Tiger is seeking his sixth win in the last tournament of the calendar year for 2013, and his sixth win at this tournament which is being played for the final time at Sherwood Forest. A tournament that had its origins at the Grayhawk Golf Course in Scottsdale, will move to Florida in 2014, and be contested at the Isleworth complex in the Orlando area.
Tiger Woods looked like the player that dominated the tour for a decade on Friday afternoon. He was hitting fairways, and laser guided irons to the greens, leaving very make-able birdie putts. Putts that weren’t dropping on Thursday were finding the bottom of the cup right from the first hole on Friday.
“It was good today,” Woods said with a broad smile, perhaps because there was little else to say.
Graeme McDowell who played with the host on Friday played well , but his 67 was lost in the day that Tiger was having. Zach Johnson, who had the first-round lead, followed with his own 68, and still has sole possession of second place when play resumes on Saturday.
“It was a clinic,” said Graeme McDowell, the defending champion who played alongside Woods in the second round and had a 67.
With a bogey at the first hole on Thursday, and only two birdies, Tiger closed out his first round at one under par, but Friday was a different story. Play was delayed for one hour due to frost on the greens, but when they got underway in the chilly conditions, Woods got it going on the first hole.
After McDowell put his second shot on the first hole to ten feet, Tiger set the tone of the day by getting inside of the defending champion. McDowell missed the birdie, but Tiger didn’t. With consistency throughout the day, and the birdies coming in pairs, there was talk of 60, and even a whisper of maybe a 59 watch.
After his birdie at 16, he couldn’t coax his putt at 17 in the hole, but he was able to par out for the 62. All-in-all, it was a superb day for the aging super-star. If he intends to get that sixth victory, he will need to continue the fine play throughout the weekend.
Zack Johnson is playing well, Matt Kuchar is having a….Matt Kuchar showing, and let’s not forget the defending champ who has won here twice , and plays well in this event. Tiger Woods will need his A-Game to get this done, but if he can follow the gem we saw on Friday, he’s unbeatable.
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