Tiger Woods played a four-hole stretch in 6-under-par to catapult his name up the leaderboard at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario. At 7-under-par through 36 holes, young Mr. Woods is just four shots back of Waite entering the weekend.
Waite, who finished second at last week's Air Canada Championship, shot a Friday 64 to take a one-shot lead at 11-under-par over Australian Greg Chalmers, who shot 65. Brian Watts birdied the par-5 18th to gain sole possession of third place at 9-under.
Sergio Garcia, Shaun Micheel and Keiichiro Fukabori are all tied for fourth at 8-under. Woods shares seventh place with four others, including Davis Love III and first-round leader Kevin Sutherland, who shot an even-par 72 in the second round.
It's been well documented that Tiger's only missed cut as a professional came at this event circa 1997. Friday, Woods almost added another Bell Canadian blemish to his resume. He nearly missed his 7:57 am ET tee time.
'I thought my tee time was an hour later than it was,' said Woods, who shot 7-under-par 65 in the second round. 'I got here early to eat some breakfast and the lady came up to me and says, `Well, you have 15 minutes until your tee time.' I said, `Oh, that's nice. Great.' `No, really, you do.' `I guess I do.'
'So I ran down there and got on the range and actually it was probably a blessing in disguise because I'm not really feeling my best physically. It was nice to actually not wear myself out on the range.'
After rushing to the 10th tee, Woods started his second round in much the same fashion as he played his first round. Tiger was one-over for the day, and for the tournament, through his first five holes. And then - BOOM!
Woods went 2-3-3-3. Birdie, Eagle, Birdie, Eagle. Six-under-par for four holes.
It began with a solidly struck 8-iron to six feet on the par-4 15th. Said Woods: 'The shot I hit on 15 was the best shot I've hit this week so far.'
That shot lead to Tiger's first birdie of the day. Then, after a power-drive at the par-5 16th, Woods stuck a 9-iron from 163 yards to a mere two feet. The ensuing eagle placed Tiger in red numbers for the first time in 13 holes.
At the par-4 17th, Woods played a 6-iron from the fairway bunker to 'about eight feet at the hole and made that.'
A 380-yard drive (yes, 380 yards) left Tiger with just 113 yards to the hole at the par-5 18th. Woods then proceeded to spin a 60 degree sand wedge into eagle range, which he promptly converted.
Thursday, Tiger played the par-37 back nine in 2-over 39. Friday, he scorched it in 5-under-par 32.
'I really wasn't hitting the ball that solid and I was hitting a couple here and there, but maybe I was just saving up my hands, and I finally hit that one shot on 15 and I just, as I said, tried to keep that same feeling throughout the day and I was able to do it for most of the round.'
Tiger's front nine wasn't as exciting as his backside, but he did manage to pick up two more birdies, without dropping a shot.
Woods will play the third round alongside Love. That makes for an interesting pairing due to some of the comments Love made earlier in the season - though, the 13-time Tour winner insists he wasn't, and isn't, raising the white flag.
'I was definitely criticized for saying (Tiger) was very good,' Love said after shooting a second round 69. 'If I have a fault, it might be that I talk a little too much and I'm a little too honest. But I'm not going to come in and say the guy's getting lucky, or that nobody out here is going to be beat him.
'It's obvious for the last year that he's making putts. He hardly ever misses and if a guy doesn't miss putts, he's going to win. You can say it about Phil Mickelson or Fred Couples or anybody that hits the ball a long way and makes every single putt. I wasn't saying we were all quitting and going home.'
Saturday, Love will get another chance to go head-to-head with the world's No. 1 player. This year, Love, ranked 8th in the Official World Golf Ranking, lost to Woods in the semi-finals of the WGC - Andersen Consulting World Match Play Championship. He also finished runner-up to Tiger at the Bay Hill Invitational.
A week ago, Waite shot a Saturday 68 to take a one-shot lead entering the final round in Surrey, British Columbia. This Friday, the Kiwi posted a 10 birdie, two bogey round of 64 to move into the top spot a day earlier.
Waite is seeking his first Tour triumph since the 1993 Kemper Open. The next five on the leaderboard are all in search of victory No. 1. Chalmers, Watts, Garcia, Micheel and Fukabori are all hoping this will be 'their' week.
We'll just have to Waite and see.