You would be forgiven if you were unsure whether or not Tiger Woods would make the weekend at Sedgefield Country Club this week. Well he has, and he finds himself at the top of the leaderboard after 36 holes.
Woods produced a gritty second round 65 to finish tied for the lead alongside American rookie Tom Hoge on 11-under-par at the end of day two at The Wyndham Championship.
After his opening round 6-under-par all eyes were on the former world number one to see if he could back up his very convincing opening to the Tournament, and when he three-putted for bogey at the 1st hole you felt like it could be one of those days where nothing dropped.
Woods seemed to struggle early on to get the pace of the quick greens, and made a couple of good par saves over the first nine holes. With birdies at the 3rd, 5th and 8th and a bogey at the par-3 7th hole Woods turned in 1-under-par and 7-under for the Tournament.
It was on the back-nine where the 14-time Major winner really turned up the heat. Back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th holes was then followed by a brilliant eagle at the par-5 15th hole after a pin-point second shot to within 10 feet of the hole. After agonisingly missing an eagle putt at the 5th hole, Woods made sure that this time he wouldn’t pass up the same opportunity, and rolled the ball confidently into the back of the cup. Cue the ‘Tiger roar’, heard at all corners of Sedgefield Country Club. Woods eased his way back to the club house with three closing pars to card a second round 65.
Woods will be playing alongside unknown American Tom Hoge in the final group on Saturday afternoon, and both players share a common number, 79. Tom Hoge has played 79 rounds on The PGA Tour, and Woods has won 79 PGA Tour events. Clearly a huge gulf in experience, but both players will find themselves on level playing field when they arrive at the 1st tee at 14:00pm on Saturday.
Hoge is a PGA rookie and actually has two top-tens in his last three events. He graduated from Texan Christian University in 2011 with a degree in accounting and finance, and says wearing the green jacket is on his bucket list. He is ranked as the 315th best golfer in the world.
When the cameras were away from Woods, they caught the end of Brandt Snedker’s second round. He shot a 9-under-par round of 61, which equaled the course record, and he done it in style with a 45 footer at the last hole. He starts his third round on 9-under-par and alongside fellow American Scott Brown. Davis Love III produced another great round of golf, carding a round of 66 to follow up his 64 from the first round, He tees off with Chad Campbell in the penultimate group at 13:50pm.
Elsewhere on the course it was disappointment for Billy Horschel and Hideki Matsuyama as they both finished on 2-under-par and missed the cut which was set at 3-under-par. However, both will remain inside the top 50 in the FedEx Cup rankings and will be playing next week in the first of the four playoff events.
The day undoubtedly belonged to Tiger Woods, but the question is can he keep this form up heading into what could be a major turning point in not only his season, but the rest of his career. A win here and he finds himself heading to The Barclays next week, and the possibility of another four events to end what has been a disappointing season.