PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – On a day where he showed signs of his old self, it seemed fitting that Tiger Woods ended his round with a fist pump following a birdie on the final hole.
The putt in question, an 18-footer at the ninth hole, was Woods’ fifth birdie of the day. The 2001 Players champ also added an eagle on the par-5 second against just two bogeys, getting around TPC Sawgrass in 67 shots for the second day in a row. At 10-under 134, Woods is in prime position heading into the weekend, and after the round reflected positively upon his performance to this point.
“I played a little bit better than I did yesterday,” explained Woods, who reached 15 of 18 greens in regulation during Friday’s second round. “I certainly hit the ball better than I did yesterday.”
Through 36 holes, Woods has appeared more like a player with three wins already in 2013 than one who has seemed vexed at times by the Stadium Course over the past decade. Having made just three total bogeys across the first two days of play, he explained that course management has been a key to his early-round success thus far.
“Most importantly, you have to miss the ball on the correct sides here,” Woods said of the Pete Dye design. “I’ve had some goofy up-and-downs the last couple days, but I’ve missed the ball in the correct spot, so I’ve had some room to get them up and down.”
As he signed his scorecard, Woods was in second place, trailing leader Sergio Garcia by a single shot. The 14-time major champ was quick to point out that despite recent struggles here, he has still experienced a fair share of success at the Stadium Course, a reserve of good memories upon which he plans to build this weekend.
“Even though I haven’t played well in the past, I’ve still won here. Actually, I’ve won here twice, technically,” he added, referencing his U.S. Amateur victory at TPC Sawgrass 19 years ago. “So for me, even though over the years I haven’t played my best here … I know how to get around this golf course.”