Wood earns spot in final group with Woods


AKRON, Ohio – Playing in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational for the first time, Chris Wood finds himself tied for second among a world-class field after 36 holes at Firestone Country Club. As Wood knows all too well, though, the man ahead of him on the leaderboard appears on the verge of lapping the field.

“You know when it’s a Tiger roar because it’s just a slightly louder and slightly different roar,” explained Wood, who shot a 2-under 68 Friday and will head to the weekend seven shots behind leader Tiger Woods. “Obviously he’s had eight, nine or 10 of them, big ones today. The score he’s putting together out there is pretty amazing today.”

A winner earlier this year on the European Tour at the Qatar Masters, Wood will play in Saturday’s final grouping alongside Woods and Keegan Bradley, who like Wood enters the weekend tied for second. After his second round, the Englishman made no qualms about the emotions that may be generated by his third-round draw.

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“He’s been my golfing hero since I was 10, when I started the game,” he said of Woods. “To be out with the world No. 1, Tiger Woods, is going to take a bit of getting used to, I think.”

Though the gap between the leader and the rest of the field looms large with two rounds to go, the difference between Wood and the other players comprising the main chase pack is more tenuous, with eight players separated by just two shots on the first page of the leaderboard. The 25-year-old hopes to maintain his composure Saturday during what will surely be a memorable round alongside the game’s top player.

“I’ve just got to try and play my game and enjoy the experience,” he added. “To play with Tiger … in a final group in a big event is pretty special. I won’t forget it.”