Tracker: Woods fires 69, four back of McDowell

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the Tiger Woods World Challenge.

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the Tiger Woods World Challenge.

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Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Avondale, LA - TPC Louisiana

12:53:19 AM ET. 04/24/2014




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Tiger Woods fired an 3-under 69 on Friday at the 18-player Tiger Woods World Challenge, but sits four shots back of 2010 champion Graeme McDowell, who shot a 6-under 66 to get to 9 under overall.

Woods, who is 5 under overall, poured in five birdies, but bogeys at No. 8 and No. 15 proved costly.

Woods did jump into a share of the lead at 6 under midway through the round.

"I hit the ball better today than I did yesterday," said Woods, referring to his first-round 70.

McDowell leads Keegan Bradley, Bo Van Pelt and Jim Furyk by three shots.

As the leaderboard sits, Tiger will tee it up with Rickie Fowler on Saturday in the third-to-final pairing.

Check out how it all unfolded on Friday afternoon at Sherwood Country Club:

• • •

Hole No. 18, Par 4, 444 yards

It has been a solid round for Tiger, with five birdies and two bogeys, but can't afford to fall any further behind, and he's been pretty good at the 18th in the past.

Off the tee: With fairway wood in hand, Tiger lays it will back of Bo Van Pelt's tee ball, but it is safely in the fairway.

Approach shot: From just under 200 yards, Tiger plays a fantastic shot to about 15 left of the hole. Absolutely sticks on the wet green.

On the green: Tiger hits a great putt that hits the left edge and settles 2 feet beyond the hole. He taps that in for a par to close out a 3-under 69.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (5 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Graeme McDowell extends his lead to two shots over Bo Van Pelt with a birdie at No. 17. He is now four clear of Tiger as well.

• • •

Hole No. 17, Par 3, 166 yards

Tiger started the day three back and he remains there after Graeme McDowell makes birdie at No. 16 to get to 8 under.

Off the tee: With 9-iron in hand, Tiger sticks it to about 12 feet and pin-high at the downhill par 3.

On the green: Tiger expected this putt to come back a little left and it didn't, leaving him with a two-putt par. Solid, but could have used that one.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (5 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 16, Par 5, 567 yards

That was a bad bogey for Tiger after a decent tee ball. He now needs at least a birdie to get within a shot of lead at the end of the day.

Off the tee: Tiger hits the fairway off the tee and should give it a go.

Second shot: Tiger goes after it, but comes up just short and into the rought.

Around the green: From just in front of the green, but in the long stuff, Tiger takes a full swing and comes up about 15 feet short. A bit disappointed in that one.

On the green: Tiger puts good pace on it, but doesn't play enough break from the left and settles for a par. Comes back to a poor chip again.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (5 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 15, Par 3, 189 yards

Tiger is learning the speed of these wet greens and is starting to be more aggressive with his putting stroke. Didn't work out on No. 14, but still a solid par.

Off the tee: With 8-iron in hand, Tiger takes an aggressive line at the hole and goes a bit left and lands in the first cut of rough. This is the type of chip that Tiger makes.

Around the green: Tiger has to be careful with the chip and gets a bit too much grass and leaves it about 5 feet short.

On the green: He pulls the putt and drops two off the lead, now held by Graeme McDowell and Bo Van Pelt.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (5 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 14, Par 4, 455 yards

With his fourth birdie in five holes, Tiger is now in a four-way tie for second with Bo Van Pelt, Jim Furyk and Nick Watney after Graeme McDowell birdies No. 13 to get to 7 under.

Off the tee: Tiger splits another fairway with fairway wood. Really nice, simple swing. Looks like he has found a groove.

Approach shot: With just over 180 yards, Tiger gets up on top of the ridge and will have about 12 feet from the left for birdie. Nice shot.

On the green: Tiger is aggressive on his speed here and it runs by on the right edge. Simple par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 under (6 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker erased a pair of poor first rounds with 4-under 68s on Friday. Johnson is in the clubhouse at 2 under, while Snedeker is 1 under.

• • •

Hole No. 13, Par 5, 568 yards

Tiger is tied with Bo Van Pelt and Jim Furyk at 5 under, while Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley are at 4 under. All are chasing 2010 World Challenge champ Graeme McDowell and Nick Watney, who are at 6 under.

Off the tee: Tiger takes 3-wood off the tee and pushes it right, hitting a tree and causing a handful of fans to scatter. Ball is sitting up nicely, but there is little chance he can attack with his second.

Second shot: Tiger simply lays up into the middle of the fairway. Definitely the smart play, and maybe really the only play.

Approach shot: From just over 105 yards (the same as the last par 5), Tiger hits a fantastic 3/4-swing wedge shot that settles about 3 feet to the left of the hole.

On the green: Another easy one and that is four birdies in five holes for Tiger as he jumps into a share of the lead.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 under (6 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Zach Johnson had a great round going until a triple-bogey 8 at the par-5 16th hole knocked him back to even par for the tournament. He is still 2 under on his round.

• • •

Hole No. 12, Par 3, 186 yards

Tiger's not having to do much work with the putter over the past three holes, with his short irons doing most of the work and he's now one shot back of Graeme McDowell.

Off the tee: He stares this tee ball down. Using 7-iron, he lands his ball about 5 feet under the hole and it trickles back to about 12 feet. Another good look at birdie for Tiger.

On the green: Tiger thought he had this one, but it slides by on the right and he settles for his first par since the 7th hole. Still one off the lead.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (5 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 11, Par 5, 517 yards

Tiger has moved himself back into contention, although nearly every player is still realistically in this tournament. First and last place are separated by seven shots.

Off the tee: With driver in hand, Tiger seems to like it and bends down quickly to pick up his tee, but the ball jumps into the rough on the right and disappears a bit. Might have a tough time going for it in two.

Second shot: Tiger does have to lay up and simply puts it in the middle of the fairway about 105 yards to the pin.

Approach shot: A great shot from Tiger here, taking it about 8 feet past the flag (and nearly into the rough) and spinning it back to about 5 feet under the hole.

On the green: Buries his third consecutive birdie to get within a shot of Graeme McDowell.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under (5 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Graeme McDowell has taken the outright lead at 6 under with a birdie at No. 10, while Nick Watney falls back to 5 under with a bogey at No. 9.

• • •

Hole No. 10, Par 4, 359 yards

Lots of similarities for Tiger from Thursday to Friday, although the birdie at No. 9 is the lone difference, allowing Tiger to make the turn with a 1-under 35. Now to the short par 4.

Off the tee: Tiger splits yet another fairway to leave himself around 120 yards into the green.

Approach shot: With 9-iron in hand, Tiger takes it about 20 feet past the flag and spins it back to about 8 feet under the hole. Another good look at birdie.

On the green: Tiger drains it for a second consecutive birdie to get to within two shots of the lead.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under (4 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: 17 of the 18 players in the tournament are at even par or better for the tournament, with only Steve Stricker at 1 over. The 18 players are a collective 32 under today.

• • •

Hole No. 9, Par 4, 422 yards

Nick Watney has the solo lead again after Graeme McDowell bogeyed No. 7. Tiger is four shots back in a tie for 9th.

Off the tee: Tiger takes iron off the tee and simply launches it high into the air and hits the fairway.

Approach shot: From just under 190 yards, Tiger hits a majestic approach that lands about 5 feet behind the hole and trickles back to about 3 feet. Great look at birdie.

On the green: Simple birdie. First one on a non-par 5 for the week. Nice momentum heading to a back-nine that features three par-5s.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (3 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 8, Par 3, 228 yards

Tiger is going to need one of those birdie putts to drop, it seems as though he is in need of a little charge.

Off the tee: Tiger is disgusted immediately with this shot, landing it about 5 feet off the green to the right. The ball is sitting up nicely for a chip.

Around the green: Tiger hits a big, high chip and it flies about 12 feet past the hole. Another big par save ahead.

On the green: Tiger doesn't get this one, as it slides by on the left and he picks up his first bogey of the day. He's now four shots off the lead. He also bogeyed No. 8 on Thursday.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (2 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: With a birdie at No. 11, Rickie Fowler has moved to 4 under overall. He has birdied three consecutive holes.

• • •

Hole No. 7, Par 4, 446 yards

Despite being 1 under on his round, Tiger has slipped a spot on the leaderboard, currently sitting T-6 with Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

Off the tee: With a nice, large rock in the middle of the fairway - which Bo Van Pelt hits - Tiger bombs his tee ball past it to put himself in good position for his second.

Approach shot: He hits the green in regulation, sending it past the hole and leaving himself 20 feet for birdie.

On the green: Another two-putt par for Tiger here.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (3 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Zach Johnson picks up another birdie to go to 5 under on his round and 3 under overall. Johnson was tied for last in the 18-player field coming into the day. Rickie Fowler is 4 under on his round behind an eagle (No. 2) and back-to-back birdies on Nos. 9 and 10.

• • •

Hole No. 6, Par 4, 422 yards

A little statistical update on Tiger: He has birdied 4 of 7 par-5s thus far at Sherwood and has hit 2 of 4 fairways thus far on Friday. Meanwhile, playing competitor Bo Van Pelt is outshining Tiger thus far, moving to 5 under behind a birdie at No. 5. He's now one shot off the lead and two ahead of Tiger.

Off the tee: Tiger takes driver here and tries to play a low fade, but doesn't get all of it.

Approach shot: Tiger hits a nice second shot here, landing it about 20 feet left of the pin. Good look at birdie.

On the green: Tiger leaves another one short - the greens have been very slow the first two days due to the wet weather - and he settles for a two-putt par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (3 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Zach Johnson, who lost to Tiger in a playoff last year at Sherwood, has the low round of the day going, moving to 2 under overall behind four birdies thru 11 holes.

• • •

Hole No. 5, Par 5, 531 yards

A birdie and three pars to open Friday's round and now he heads to the par-5 5th hole, where he had to scramble to even make par after hooking his drive a bit left.

Off the tee: Well, he won't be left as he pushes his tee ball a bit to the right. It barely misses the fairway and finds some mud. He won't be able to clean that despite playing lift, clean and replace because he isn't in the fairway.

Second shot: Tiger gets a face full of mud after his second shot, which is short of the green. He's trying to wash that dirt out of his mouth by spitting a bit.

Third shot: Tiger gets it on the green, but left of the hole and he'll have a mid-range putt for birdie.

On the green: Tiger misses his birdie attempt and taps in for par. The 5th hole seems to have Tiger's number so far this week.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (3 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Graeme McDowell has started his round on fire, moving to 6 under overall behind three consecutive birdies on Friday. He now shares the lead with Nick Watney, who birdied No. 2. Webb Simpson, Bo Van Pelt and Keegan Bradley are all at 4 under.

• • •

Hole No. 4, Par 4, 456 yards

Tiger has started the day much like he did on Thursday, giving himself looks at birdie, but only converting once.

Off the tee: Tiger splits another fairway and will be able to attack this pin. He is 2 of 3 in fairways hit today.

Approach shot: Tiger puts another one pin-high, but this one also comes to rest off the green, this time only by 18 inches or so.

Around the green: Tiger plays a great chip to about 2 feet and he taps that in for another par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (3 under for tournament)

• • •

Hole No. 3, Par 3, 198 yards

Nice early birdie for Tiger, but will need to capitalize on a non-par 5 if he hopes to make a big run. The rain is starting to fall again at Sherwood. It has yet to halt play.

Off the tee: Tiger is not happy with this shot, missing the green. But, he shouldn't be too upset, as he is pin-high and really just off the green.

Around the green: Tiger chips to about 4 feet and holes the putt to stay two shots back of Watney. Didn't scare the hole with the chip, but solid hole.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (3 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Bubba Watson opened with three pars but then imploded with a triple-bogey 7 at the par-4 4th hole to fall back to 2 over for the tournament.

• • •

Hole No. 2, Par 5, 531 yards

Solid start, but he'll need to start taking advantage of nice tee balls when he can, as there are some red figures on the board today. He moves to the first of five par-5s at PGA West, this one featuring an island green that takes some guts to get after in two. All three of Tiger's birdies on Thursday came on par-5s, while he scrambled to save par at Nos. 5 and 16.

Off the tee: Tiger pulls driver here - duh?! - and yanks it a bit left and into the rough. Really don't think he'll get after this one.

Second shot: Tiger gives it a go, but comes up short of the green.

Around the green: Tiger his a great chip to about 4 feet, where he'll have a great look at birdie.

Rest of the hole: Tiger nails it to move to 3 under and two back of Watney. Tiger is now 4 of 6 on the par-5s.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under (3 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Hunter Mahan has yet to card a par on Friday, starting with a bogey and then going birdie-birdie to get to 2 under overall. Meanwhile, playing competitors Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell both birdie the opening hole to move to 4 under, one shot back of Watney.

• • •

Hole No. 1, Par 4, 342 yards

The rain has let up nicely as Tiger and Van Pelt take to the first tee. Tiger will need to work a bit on his distance control today, as he needed a lot of clutch par putts late in his round on Thursday to remain within three shots. Tiger is sporting a pink shirt, grey vest and black pants.

Off the tee: As he did on Thursday, Tiger rips a fairway wood off the first tee. Really loves that club.

Rest of the hole: Much like Thursday, Tiger can't take advantage of a nice tee ball, settling for a par at the opening hole. He missed a 15-footer for birdie.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (2 under for tournament)

Elsewhere on the course: Jason Dufner has moved to 1 under overall with birdies at Nos. 2 and 3. Dufner was 3 over early in his round on Thursday.

• • •

Update #2: 1:20 p.m. EST

A day after picking up bogey at the par-5 2nd hole, Rickie Fowler picks up a rare eagle at the tough hole to get into red figures overall (1 under). Fowler now heads to the par-3 3rd hole, where he had a triple-bogey on Thursday.

• • •

Update #1: 1 p.m. EST

You get used to seeing sunny skies in southern California, but for the second consecutive day, players will be dealing with clouds, temperatures in the low 60s and a chance of showers after 7 p.m. EST. It is currently raining at Sherwood, so it may be another day where players hover around par and take few chances.

On Thursday, the players did play lift, clean and replace.

Only four players have completed a hole on Friday, with all four parring the par-4 1st hole.

• • •

First-round coverage

SECOND-ROUND TEE TIMES: Leader Nick Watney will play with Keegan Bradley on Friday at the Tiger Woods World Challenge, while the host will play 18 holes with Bo Van Pelt. Tee times.

TIGER FIRES 70: Tiger Woods points to his victory at the World Challenge as what led him to three PGA Tour victories in 2012. He started his title defense with a 2-under 70 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. See how it happened.

GLOBETROTTER: Graeme McDowell fired a solid 3-under 69 on Thursday, but he says about 10 percent of his golf vigor is gone right now. He's a bit spent after a hectic 12-week stint during which he played in Dubai, China and the U.S. A 10-week break should fix that. Story.

• • •

Preview coverage

TEE TIMES, PAIRINGS: With the Tiger Woods World Challenge slated to begin on Thursday morning in southern California, here is a look at the first round tee times and pairings. Story.

RELIEVED: Matt Kuchar didn't know if his unique stroke would be banned or not, but was all smiles on Wednesday after the R&A and USGA said his putting technique is fine moving forward. Story.

WEIGHING IN: As victories go, Tiger Woods was more than happy to talk about the one that served as a bridge from a forgettable part of his career to something he’s more accustomed to. Story.

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