Tiger Woods is in a place he hasn’t been in 30 months – atop the leaderboard on the PGA Tour going into the weekend.
Woods putted for birdie on every hole and made short work of the par 5s Friday at Bay Hill for a 7-under 65, giving him a share of the lead with Charlie Wi after two rounds of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
“It was a solid round of golf,” Woods said. “I felt like I actually hit it better yesterday than I did today. I’ve made more putts today, for sure. I felt great over the putter. My speed was good. I left a couple putts dead short, right in the center of the hole.”
Wi rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt on his last hole for a 68 to join Woods at 10-under 134.
Former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell had an eagle-par-birdie finish for a 63, while Jason Dufner extended his solid play on the Florida swing with a 69. They were one shot behind at 135.
Woods last had the 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour at the Tour Championship in September 2009.
“I want to win. Yes, absolutely,” Woods said. “We’ve got a long way to go. It’s not like it’s over right now. We’ve got 36 holes to go.”
Wi and Woods grew up in Southern California and have known each other since their junior days.
“Tiger is the man, and it’s going to be fun tomorrow,” Wi said.
TSENG SETS PACE
Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 4-under 68 to open a two-stroke lead over Se Ri Pak after the second round of the LPGA’s Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif.
Tseng had a 9-under 135 total on La Costa’s Legends Course. Pak had a 66. Michelle Wie missed the cut with rounds of 77 and 79.
Tseng made a 15-foot birdie putt on 18 – and won $20 from her caddie, Jason Hamilton.
“When I get to 18, I just told myself, ‘Let’s hit three good shots and I can save 30 minutes of practice today,’” Tseng said. “So, I hit a great drive down the fairway. The second shot was 140 to the pin, and I hit an 8-iron and hit a little cut and finished like 15 feet.
“Before I walked in to the green, I told my caddie, ‘How about $20 if I make this?’ And I made it, and I won $20 hitting the three best shots on the course, and finished happy.”
Tom Pernice Jr. topped the Champions Tour leaderboard at 7 under through 12 holes when first-round play in the soggy Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic was suspended because of darkness in Saucier, Miss. Only a few players completed their rounds because the start was delayed more than four hours after more than 9 inches of rain fell in 36 hours. … Phillip Price shot a 6-under 66 for a total of 10-under 134 to take a one-stroke lead in the suspended second round of the European Tour’s Hassan II Trophy in Agadir, Morocco. Strong wind and thunder delayed the start of the round 51/2 hours.
TRACKING LOCAL GOLFERS ON PGA TOUR
THIS WEEK: Arnold Palmer Invitational, Thursday through Sunday, Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando, Fla.
SECOND-ROUND SCORE: 1-under-par 71.
POSITION: Moore (2-under 142) is tied for 23rd, eight strokes behind co-leaders Charlie Wi and Tiger Woods (134).
RECAP: The morning was a good sign as Moore had a clean round going at 4-under, and was inside the top five at 5-under for the tournament after he rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt at the 11th hole. Then, a recurring issue cropped up again around the greens. He did not get up and down from 20 yards in front of the green for par on the par-5 12th, then had back-to-back three-putt bogeys at No. 14 (26 feet) and No. 15 (50 feet), missing short par-savers. He will need a low score today if he wants to put any heat on Woods and those ahead of him.
TEe TimE TODAY: 9 a.m. (PDT) with Davis Love III.
Todd Milles, staff writer