How it happened: Tiger's 62 gives him lead at Sherwood
A day after he struggled to get anything going on a difficult Sherwood Country Club layout, Tiger Woods seemingly had everything go his way Friday at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge.
Woods, who made just two birdies and shot 1-under 71 on Thursday, responded with 10 birdies en route to a 10-under 62 to take the second-round lead in his host event. The score tied the course record he set back in 2007.
First-round leader Zach Johnson is two shots back at 9 under while Matt Kuchar is solo third at 8 under.
Woods missed just one fairway and hit all 18 greens. When asked if there were any shots he was disappointed with, Woods replied, "Not many."
We followed every shot of Tiger's second round, as well as highlights from the other 17 players in the field. See how it all unfolded Friday at the World Challenge:
• • •
Hole No. 18: Par 4, 444 yards
Final hole of the round for Woods, who has yet to miss a green in regulation today. A birdie here at the 18th would give Woods an 11-under 61 and a new course record.
• Off the tee: Tiger finds his 12th fairway in 13 tries today.
• Approach shot: Tiger finds his 18th green in regulation and will have a birdie putt for a new course record.
• On the green: Tiger two-putts for par to wrap up a 10-under 62.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 10 under through 18 holes (11 under overall)
• • •
Hole No. 17: Par 3, 166 yards
Two holes left and Tiger leads by three shots over Zach Johnson.
• Off the tee: This one is right on line with the flagstick and the ball ends up about 6 feet in front of the hole.
• On the green: Tiger just misses his 11th birdie of the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 10 under through 17 holes (11 under overall)
• • •
Hole No. 16: Par 5, 567 yards
Three holes left and Tiger has yet to miss a green in regulation.
• Off the tee: Tiger pounds his drive into another fairway.
• Second shot: Big cut here from Tiger and he reaches the green in two shots.
• On the green: Tiger has 40 feet or so left for eagle, and he just leaves it short. Easy birdie here for Tiger.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 10 under through 16 holes (11 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Rory McIlroy carded a 9 at the par-5 16th to drop to 7 over, but he just got a shot back with a birdie at the 17th.
• • •
Hole No. 15: Par 3, 189 yards
The course record here at Sherwood is 62, set by Woods in 2007.
• Off the tee: He's on the green, but he didn't like that tee ball as it carried a good 12 feet past the hole.
• On the green: The birdie putt doesn't drop, but Tiger still saves par at this tough par 3, which didn't yield its first birdie of the tournament until Dustin Johnson birdied a few of groups earlier.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 9 under through 15 holes (10 under overall)
• • •
Hole No. 14: Par 4, 455 yards
Your new leader: Tiger Woods.
• Off the tee: Tiger uses 3-wood and puts his tee ball in the fairway.
• Approach shot: Tiger nearly flies this one in the hole, and the ball ends up 5 feet past the cup.
• On the green: Tiger send this birdie putt into the bottom of the cup.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 9 under through 14 holes (10 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Matt Kuchar's birdie at No. 11 moves him into a share of second at 8 under with Zach Johnson.
• • •
Hole No. 13: Par 5, 568 yards
That was a big par save for Tiger as he was faced with a very difficult birdie putt. Scoring conditions have been much better today as 13 of the 18 players are currently under par on their second rounds.
• Off the tee: Another nice drive down the middle of the fairway for Tiger.
• Second and third shots: Tiger goes for the green with 3-iron, but blocks it a little right and finds a greenside bunker. The bunker shot is a beauty, and Tiger has just a few feet left for birdie.
• On the green: Tweet, tweet. Tiger notches his eighth birdie of the round, and this one gives him the solo lead.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 8 under through 13 holes (9 under overall)
• • •
Hole No. 12: Par 3, 186 yards
Tiger now shares the lead with Zach Johnson at 8 under.
• Off the tee: Tiger finds the green, but it stays on the top shelf. He'll have a 30-footer or so downhill for birdie coming up.
• On the green: This is a tough one. Very tough. Tiger has to aim way left and hope the slope doesn't send the ball way past the hole. Not a bad effort, but the ball ends up 6 feet past. Tiger manages to clean up for par, though.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 7 under through 12 holes (8 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Bill Haas is now 5 under, 6 under through 13 holes today.
• • •
Hole No. 11: Par 5, 517 yards
Tiger continues to score here at Sherwood. He's finding fairways, hitting greens and, most importantly, making putts.
• Off the tee: Tiger pounds his drive down the middle of the fairway. He's only missed one fairway so far today.
• Second shot: Only a 4-iron here as Woods goes for the green in two. The ball lands very close to the hole before ending up 8 feet or so past. Eagle putt coming up.
• On the green: Very quick putt here and Tiger misreads it. He misses a little right, but taps in for birdie.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 7 under through 11 holes (8 under overall)
• • •
Hole No. 10: Par 4, 359 yards
Tiger has missed no greens in regulation and just one fairway so far today. Not too shabby.
• Off the tee: Tiger's drive is right down the middle.
• Approach shot: With about 50 yards left to the hole, Tiger gets his wedge shot to check up about 5 feet past the hole.
• On the green: Tiger drains his sixth birdie of the day.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 6 under through 10 holes (7 under overall)
• • •
Hole No. 9: Par 4, 422 yards
Five birdies and no bogeys through eight holes as Tiger gains ground on the lead.
• Off the tee: Tiger splits the fairway with iron.
• Approach shot: Another nice approach for Woods, who has about 10 feet left for a sixth birdie in nine holes.
• On the green: Tiger misses this birdie putt a little right, but saves par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under through 9 holes (6 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Bubba Watson bogeys No. 7 to drop back to 6 under while Kuchar birdies No. 6 to move to 7 under.
• • •
Hole No. 8: Par 3, 228 yards
Tiger gets his fourth birdie of the day, at No. 8, and he's now three shots off of Zach Johnson's lead. Johnson just birdied the fifth hole to move to 8 under.
• Off the tee: Tiger lands his tee ball pin-high before the ball comes to rest about 10 feet past the hole.
• On the green: Another great read by Woods as his ball slowly rolls down hill, right to left, and catches the right edge of the cup before falling in the hole.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 5 under through 8 holes (6 under overall)
• • •
Hole No. 7: Par 4, 446 yards
Three birdies and three pars through six holes for Tiger, who has been solid so far today.
• Off the tee: Tiger hits another fairway.
• Approach shot: With 8-iron, Tiger lands this one about 15 feet left of the hole.
• On the green: It's closer to 12 feet and Tiger gives it a great roll. The ball catches the left edge and eventually drops. Birdie No. 4.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 under through 7 holes (5 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Bubba Watson sticks his approach close at No. 6 and birdies to move to 7 under. He now shares the lead with Zach Johnson.
• • •
Hole No. 6: Par 4, 422 yards
Tiger can't take advantage of the par-5 fifth hole, but he's still off to a good start.
• Off the tee: Another 3-wood, another fairway for Woods.
• Approach shot: Tiger puts this approach shot pin-high and about 15 feet right of the hole.
• On the green: The birdie roll doesn't fall, and Tiger has his third par of the round.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under through 6 holes (4 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Bubba Watson eagles the par-5 fifth to join Matt Kuchar in second place at 6 under.
• • •
Hole No. 5: Par 5, 531 yards
Tiger has three birdies in his first four holes of this second round. Now he gets another par 5.
• Off the tee: Tiger hits driver for the second time today and finds the fairway.
• Second and third shots: Tiger goes for the green in two and misses right. He has a difficult chip with the green sloping away from him, and his third shot ends up well past the hole.
• On the green: Tiger leaves his long birdie try and little short and taps in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under through 5 holes (4 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Bubba Watson chips in for birdie at the par-4 fourth hole to move to 4 under overall.
• • •
Hole No. 4: Par 4, 456 yards
Conditions seem to be a little easier today than they were on Thursday, and the players near the top of the leaderboard, including Tiger, are taking advantage.
• Off the tee: Tiger finds the fairway, this time with 3-wood. The ball just stayed on the left part of the fairway.
• Approach shot: With his approach, Tiger sticks it close again.
• On the green: With about 2 feet left for birdie, Tiger sinks the putt.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 under through 4 holes (4 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Birdies at No. 2 for both Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, who move to 7 under and 6 under, respectively.
• • •
Hole No. 3: Par 3, 198 yards
Birdie-birdie start for Woods, who had two birdies total in his first round.
• Off the tee: After missing this green on Thursday, Tiger finds the back of the green today. His ball ends up about 15 feet away.
• On the green: Great read on the birdie putt, but the ball ends up just short, and Tiger taps in for par.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under through 3 holes (3 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Zach Johnson (6 under) and Matt Kuchar (5 under) both birdie the opening hole.
• • •
Hole No. 2: Par 5, 531 yards
Much better start for Tiger today compared to Thursday, when he started his first round with a three-putt bogey.
• Off the tee: Tiger pulls out driver and puts a good swing on it. The ball goes a little right and into the first cut of rough, though.
• Second and third shots: Tiger going for the green with his second shot and the ball comes up just short of the green. He'll likely have an eagle putt coming up from the front fringe. There's about 30 feet left to the hole for Tiger as he sizes up his eagle putt. He doesn't like the roll, though, as he leaves himself some work to do for birdie.
• On the green: Tiger has a little less than 5 feet left for birdie and he gets the putt to drop.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under through 2 holes (3 under overall)
• Elsewhere on the course: Bubba Watson moves to 3 under after an opening birdie at No. 1.
• • •
Hole No. 1: Par 4, 342 yards
Tiger in all black today sans for a pink polo under his black sweater. He's paired with Graeme McDowell today.
• Off the tee: Tiger goes with iron off the opening tee and finds the middle of the fairway.
• Approach shot: Tiger wedges to about 2 feet to set up a great birdie opportunity.
• On the green: Remember, Tiger missed a short par putt here on Thursday, but he sinks it this time around. Birdie to start for Woods.
TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under through 1 hole (2 under overall)
• • •
This Northwestern Mutual World Challenge a hit ’n giggle affair? Well, if it is, then consider Round 1 to have been filled with many hits (the field average for the 18 in attendance was 72.78 and there were 64 bogeys) and barely any giggles.
While Nelson Mandela's death surely hits closest to home among South Africans such as Charl Schwartzel, Trevor Immelman and Hall of Famer Gary Player, Tiger Woods spoke fondly of his meeting with the late human-rights activist and leader.
• • •
This weekend would certainly fall into that time of year considered to be “an offseason,” yet what are 39 of the world’s top 50 players doing? They’re playing golf. All 18 players in “Tiger’s Tournament,” officially called the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood CC in Thousand Oaks, Calif., are ranked within the top 30.
He was effusive in his praise, calling it an “amazing 15 years” and suggesting that “if we didn’t have this event, we wouldn’t have a learning center in Orange County (California).” But at the same time, Tiger Woods conceded that moving his end-of-year tournament from West Coast to East Coast made sense, albeit begrudgingly.
Give Jordan Spieth credit for a lot of things, among them his very sharp sense of gratitude. Many might have overlooked how Spieth earned his way into this week’s Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, but not the kid from Texas.
Jason Dufner, being an Auburn Tiger, wants to see his alma mater's football team in its conference-championship game. But he's booked in this week's Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. So he took to Twitter and reached out to a Tiger with a different set of stripes – tournament benefactor Tiger Woods.
Other recent pro news
The European Tour fined and suspended Simon Dyson – though his 2-month term will be waived if he completes 18 months without a rules infraction because his missteps were found not to be premeditated.
As title defenses go, little spotlight will be provided Angel Cabrera, but trying to win a second straight Argentina Open takes on personal meaning for the proud Argentine. The tournament tees off Thursday and is the 14th and final tournament of this year’s LatinoAmerica Series. Mexico’s Jose De Jesus Rodriguez has a slight lead over American Ryan Blaum in the battle to be leading money winner.
Rory McIlroy remained at No. 6 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking following his victory at the Australian Open. It was the first victory of the year for the former World No. 1. Also, Jason Day moved to 10th, bumping Jason Dufner to 11th, after tying for sixth at Royal Sydney. And Hideki Matsuyama improved two spots to 23rd after his fifth Japan Tour victory this season.
Jack Nicklaus said he would have to root for grandson Nick O'Leary, a tight end for Florida State, if he lines up against Nicklaus' alma mater Ohio State with college football's BCS national championship on the line: “I’m an Ohio State guy, but blood is thicker than anything else.”
Fresh off an Australian Open win isn't a bad time for a sponsor to debut a commercial featuring a top golfer. But for a (pardon the American expression) soccer ball? Set to none other than Bing Crosby's "Straight Down the Middle," Rory McIlroy indeed takes to a golf course – introduced with playing partner and Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney.
Tiger Woods is going to wear a customized pair of TW’14 shoes in tournament play next year – and Nike Golf and Woods are leaving the design up to the fans. TW’14 is the first Nike Golf shoe to become available for customization on NIKEiD.