Bill Haas wanted to atone for the way he finished his opening round. He did that and more Friday and was tied for the lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
That sure wasn’t the case for Tiger Woods.
One shot out of the lead with three holes to play, Woods closed with three sloppy bogeys to fall four shots behind going into the weekend. That makes the chore a little more difficult in his bid to defend his title at Bay Hill and return to No. 1 in the world.
“The good news is we’ve got 36 holes to go,” Woods said. “We’ve got a long way to go. And certainly four shots can be made up.”
Haas not only kept bogeys off his card, but his longest putt for par was also no more than 4 feet in a clean round of 6-under 66. He was tied with Justin Rose, who was poised to take the outright lead until he was fooled by the speed of the greens after late afternoon showers and finished with a three-putt bogey for a 70.
They were at 9-under 135, one shot ahead of John Huh, who had a 69.
The finishing holes have proved pivotal in the opening two rounds. Haas was challenging for the lead on Thursday when he flew his tee shot into the back bunker on the par-3 17th and had to two-putt from 40 feet for bogey. Then, he three-putted from 8 feet on the 18th hole for bogey to ruin his day.
“So to leave, basically giving two away, my goal today was try to get those two back and go from there,” Haas said. “That was kind of my mindset today, and then I was able to keep it going.”
Rose went eagle-birdie on the 16th and 17th holes that sent him on his way to an opening 65, and he regained the lead Friday with a 4-iron just off the fringe for a simple birdie on the 16th. But after a burst of rain, he thought the green might be slower than it was on his 25-foot birdie try. He ran it 5 feet by the hole, and missed it coming back.
“But that was the only thing that hampered the day, really,” Rose said. “All in all, exciting day and I’m in a good position.”
Woods hit the ball better in the second round and had to settle for a higher score, all because of his finish.
He turned over his tee shot on the 17th and wound up in the rough well behind the green, and his chip went all the way through the green.
Woods followed that with a tee shot on 18 into the right rough that forced him to play short of the water, and he hit a poor chip to about 30 feet. He missed that for a 70.
RECARI LEADS KIA CLASSIC
Beatriz Recari shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to take the lead after two rounds in the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif.
The Spaniard’s two-round total of 8-under 136 gave her a one-stroke lead over Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb.
Stacy Lewis, playing her first tournament as the world’s top-ranked player, carded her second straight 70 and was four strokes off the lead.
Hal Sutton, Steve Elkington, Corey Pavin and Roger Chapman shot 3-under 69 in light rain to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Saucier, Miss. Seattle native and defending champion Fred Couples opened with a 72. …Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Wu Ashun of China were at 9 under for the clubhouse lead in the Malaysian Open after the second round was suspended because of darkness, which left half the field unable to complete the round.