Woods Fit to Be Tied After Double Bogey
Tiger Woods said he played well enough to score in the mid-60s on Friday and take a comfortable lead into the weekend at the NEC Invitational at Akron, Ohio. Then came the 18th hole.
His eight-iron caromed off a tree and 20 yards to the right. From there, a seven-iron bounded through the green and into deep rough. When he had finished with a double bogey, Woods shot an even-par 70 that dropped him into a share of the lead with Luke Donald and invited a host of others into the tournament.
Donald made three consecutive birdies early in his round and shot 67, joining Woods at four-under 136.
“I didn’t shoot myself out of the tournament by making double, and that’s a good thing,” Woods said. “We’ve got a long way to go and I’m playing well, so I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Woods wasn’t alone in his late-round misery.
Vijay Singh was tied for the lead at five under until he dumped his third shot into the water on the 667-yard 16th hole and had to chip in with a fairway metal for a bogey. He spun his approach off the 17th green and failed to save par from 10 feet, and he nearly made it three consecutive bogeys until he escaped with a pitch to four feet on the last hole.
He shot 71 and was at 137.
Henrik Stenson of Sweden was at five under until he found the left rough on the 18th hole, took two shots to advance the ball to the front of the green and also took double bogey for a 71 that put him one shot behind the leaders.
Also at 137 were PGA runner-up Thomas Bjorn, Paul McGinley and Chris DiMarco, who avoided that kind of trouble. Bjorn played bogey-free for a 67, while McGinley had a 66 to match the low score on a day of blustery, deceptive conditions. DiMarco made 18 pars.
PGA champion Phil Mickelson had a 72 and was at 141, among 24 players within five shots of the lead.
Defending champion Vaughn Taylor continued his strong play at the Reno-Tahoe Open, shooting a five-under 67 to take the second-round lead with a tournament-record total of 13-under 131.
Todd Fischer birdied his first five holes in a 67 and was in second place at 12 under at Montreux Golf and Country Club on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.
Bill Glasson was two more shots back after knocking in a pair of eagles en route to a course-record 10-under 62, followed by Jonathan Kaye and Swedes Jesper Parnevik and Fredrik Jacobson at nine under.
Taylor, whose only victory on the PGA Tour came as a rookie a year ago at Reno, broke the 36-hole record of 133 that John Cook set while winning in 2001 and Corey Pavin tied last year.
Rookie Sung Ah Yim and Soo-Yun Kang shot eight-under 64s to share the lead after the first round of the LPGA’s Safeway Classic at Portland, Ore.
Rosie Jones and defending champion Hee-Won Han are one shot back.
Yim, 21, had six birdies on the front nine, leading to the best round of her first LPGA season.
Tom Kite, Jim Thorpe, Brad Bryant and Morris Hatalsky shot six-under 66s in the first round of the Boeing Greater Seattle Classic at Snoqualmie, Wash.
Andy Bean, John Harris, Hale Irwin, Bruce Lietzke, James Mason, Peter Jacobsen and Craig Stadler were one stroke behind in the Champions Tour event on the par-72 Tournament Players Course at Snoqualmie Ridge.
“The weather was perfect,” Thorpe said. “I like this golf course.... We know we can make birdies out there.”