O’Hair was 8-under par in an eight-hole stretch in the middle of his round, sending him to a 7-under 64 and a share of the lead with Jim Furyk after 36 holes on the TPC Boston.
O’Hair and Furyk, who made six birdies in his round of 67, played in the same group with Retief Goosen, who had a 67 and wound up two shots behind. The threesome combined to make 17 birdies and one eagle.
“It can either help your or it can really hurt you,” O’Hair said of watching his partners keep making putts. “If you get impatient out there, it can be a detriment. But with the attitude I had out there the last couple of days, it was nice.”
No one needed to make birdies quite like Tiger Woods.
He was on the cut line when he made the turn and was desperate to secure a tee time for Sunday and make up as much ground as he could. After an unlikely par save from a buried lie in the bunker, Woods gave himself seven consecutive birdie putts inside 12 feet. He made four of them for a 67, although he still was seven shots behind.
O’Hair and Furyk were at 12-under 130, two shots clear of Goosen and Marc Leishman, who had a tournament-low 62. Nearly half the field of 99 players shot in the 60s.
Scott Verplank made an eagle for the second straight day on his way to a 68, leaving him a group of players at 9-under 133 that included Justin Leonard, Mike Weir, Kevin Sutherland and John Senden, who recorded the rarest shot in golf.
Senden made a double eagle on the par-5 second hole, holing out from 250 yards with a 4-iron. He shot a 64.
“It looked like it was just going to roll to the back of the green or just over the back,” Senden said. “And then when the I saw the cheers go up, I knew it was in the hole, so it was exciting.”
Most of the excitement came in the morning, however, as O’Hair, Furyk and Goosen lit up the scoreboard in pristine conditions. The best viewing belonged to Geoff Ogilvy in the group behind them.
“When you’re watching the group ahead of you throwing birdie after birdie, you know you have to keep making them,” said Ogilvy, who managed a 68 and was in the large group at 8-under 134.
Furyk, winless in more than two years, went 25 consecutive holes without missing a green until he found a fairway bunker on No. 15 that led to bogey. Even so, he was steady as ever and feeling better about his chance of ending his drought. He has never gone two consecutive seasons without winning since he joined the PGA Tour.
“I didn’t expect to go out there and hit 13 fairways and 18 greens today,” he said. “I hit a few bad shots, got loose once in a while, but was able to score well all day.”
Everyone in his group did that. They were a combined 34-under par after two rounds.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever played in a group where all three guys played so well,” Furyk said. “We saw a lot of good golf and a lot of good golf shots, and obviously I saw some putts go in. We all made our share of putts.”
There were only five holes where no one made birdie.
Steve Stricker shared the 18-hole lead with Furyk and appeared to be on his way toward catching him with consecutive birdies as he was approaching the turn. That changed with one bad tee shot and several missed putts inside 6 feet.
Woods, meanwhile, didn’t need a leaderboard to realize he was hovering around the cut at 1 under.
“I saw a lot of media guys out there, so I thought I’d better turn this thing around and make them go away,” he said.
It started with pars – a 12-footer at No. 9, a tricky 5-footer on the 10th and a superb save from the plugged lie in the face of a bunker at No. 11, followed by a 20-foot putt. From there, Woods hit everything inside 12 feet and made some, although he was increasing frustrated by missed birdie chances of 7 feet at No. 13, 10 feet at No. 15 and 10 feet at no. 17.
“They haven’t been lipping in, they’ve been lipping out,” Woods said. “That’s about par for the course right now.”
He was at 5-under 137 needing a low round Sunday to get back into the mix for the Labor Day finishes. And as the first two days have shown, low scores certainly are out there.