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Tiger Woods enjoys an old feeling at Quicken Loans National: Contention for the lead

Tiger Woods watches his shot on the fifth tee during the second round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament on Friday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va.

Tiger Woods watches his shot on the fifth tee during the second round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament on Friday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va.

(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

After two rounds at the Quicken Loans National in Gainesville, Va., Tiger Woods is suddenly in contention for the lead, nearly two full years since his last victory of any sort.

Woods has missed the cut or withdrawn from eight of his last 17 tournaments and has just two top-25 finishes since his last win at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in 2013.

On Friday, Woods shot a five-under par 66 giving him a two-round score of eight-under, tied for third place. Woods, a 14-time major winner, has 79 PGA Tour victories, including two at the Quicken Loans National tournament.

“I know what I’m doing out there. It’s just a matter of time before things start to click in,” Woods said, according to the Associated Press. “People want the immediate fix, the one tip that’s going to work for the rest of their life. It doesn’t work that way.”

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The 266th-ranked golfer in the world had six birdies on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, with the lone blemish on his scorecard coming on No. 14, a 580-yard par-5.

“I made my share on my back nine and especially that bomb on eight. That was a bit lucky, but I’ll take it,” said Woods, referencing his 36-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole.

Woods’ chances for winning the tournament also are helped by a lack of the game’s best players. Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson did not enter the event.

The highest-ranked golfer at the tournament, No. 8 Rickie Fowler, is currently at seven-under through 13 holes.

Kevin Chappell and David Lingmerth are the co-leaders at nine-under, though Chappell still has six holes left to play.

Woods’ best outing this year came at The Masters, where he finished tied for 17th after a two-month hiatus to improve his game.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme


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