Tracker: Tiger four back after 2-under 68

Tiger Woods needs a high finish in this week's WGC-Bridgestone to reach the PGA Tour's 2014 FedEx Cup playoffs.

Scores »

, -




PosNameTodayThruScore
Complete Leaderboard »

Tiger Woods fired a 2-under 68 on Thursday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, sitting four shots back of 18-hole leader Marc Leishman.

Woods, the defending champion, had six birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey in his best round since returning from back surgery. He is T-9 in the 72-player field.

"I just need to get reps in. It just takes time," Woods said in a post-round interview on Golf Channel. "It's been building. Today was a lot better."

Here's how it all unfolded at Firestone on Thursday:

• • •

Hole No. 18: Par 4, 464 yards

Off the tee: Takes driver here and it floats left. Scramble city to make sure not to let this round get away from him.

From the rough: With trees in front, Tiger has to go under them and runs his second shot through the green, hitting Martin Kaymer's ball in the process.

Around the green: Tiger's chip is solid, leaving himself 4 feet to save par.

On the green: Tiger knocks it in for his best round since returning from back surgery.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under; T-9, four off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 17: Par 4, 400 yards

Off the tee: Iron here and he splits the fairway, but is way back after a mishit off the tee.

From the fairway: Tiger hammers a 6-iron and finds the center of the green.

On the green: Solid lag putt to about 2 feet and he knocks that in for a par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under; T-9, four off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 16: Par 5, 667 yards

Off the tee: Driver here looks great and gets a bad bounce in the fairway, as it kicks left and is on the collar of the rough.

Second shot: Nice ball here that finds the right side of the fairway in wedge range.

From the fairway: From 118 yards, he attacks the pin, but sends it about 20 feet past the hole and doesn't spin back as much as he'd like.

On the green: He drains it, reading the slight break from right-to-left perfectly for his sixth birdie of the round.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under; T-9, four off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 15: Par 3, 221 yards

Off the tee: Solid tee ball to about 25 feet left of the hole.

On the green: Tiger finds the line, but leaves it a foot short and settles for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under; T-14, five off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 14: Par 4, 467 yards

Off the tee: Tiger takes the big stick here and hammers it down the left side of the fairway.

From the fairway: From 131 yards, Tiger doesn't send it far enough onto the green and spins it back off and will have 20 yards to the hole.

Around the green: Another near hole-out for Tiger, as the ball just slides by, leaving 3 feet to save par.

On the green: Easy par, although disappointing after his big drive.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under; T-14, five off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 13: Par 4, 471 yards

Off the tee: Finds the fairway here, but will have about 190 yards into the green.

From the fairway: Doesn't like this soon after contact and it finds a greenside rough on the right.

Around the green: Tiger nearly chips in, leaving it 6 inches past the cup.

On the green: Tap-in par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under; T-15, five off the lead

Elsewhere on the course: Marc Leishman is the new clubhouse leader after a 6-under 64 that featured eight birdies.

• • •

Hole No. 12: Par 3, 180 yards

Off the tee: Nice, sweeping swing here from Tiger and he puts it about 20 feet right of the hole.

On the green: Tiger scares the hole again, but has to settle for a tap-in par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under; T-15, five off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 11: Par 4, 418 yards

Off the tee: Fairway metal splits in the fairway and he'll be able to attack with short iron.

From the fairway: Solid shot to about 15 feet right of the hole.

On the green: Putt looks solid, but slides by on the left and he taps in for a par. A miss there.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under; T-14, five off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 10: Par 4, 410 yards

Off the tee: Fairway metal here and his hand flies off the club immediately, finding the left rough.

From the rough: From 153 yards, Tiger hits an incredible shot to about 8 feet left of the hole.

On the green: And another birdie for Tiger, his fifth of the day.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under; T-14, five off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 9: Par 4, 494 yards

Off the tee: 'Fore right!' And he'll be scrambling again, as he goes over the gallery lining the fairway.

From the rough: Tiger has tree trouble and tries to go under them, but hits a limb and is still in the rough for his third shot. From 142 yards, Tiger overcooks it slightly from under the trees again and runs through the back of the green.

Around the green: Tiger's chip is a solid one that scares the hole, but runs 10 feet past. He misses the bogey putt and taps in for double.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even; T-27, six off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 8: Par 4, 482 yards

Off the tee: Tiger seems to hate his tee ball here, but it finds the right side of the fairway. It was driver again – to the tune of 325 yards.

From the fairway: Just into the intermediate cut of rough on the right, Tiger nearly holes out, spinning it to inches from left to right.

On the green: Easy tap-in birdie and that's three in four holes.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 under; T-7, three off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 7: Par 3, 212 yards

Off the tee: With 5-iron, Tiger hits a poor tee ball, coming up about 20 yards short of the green. Was way ahead on the swing.

Around the green: Nice chip from Tiger here, leaving himself about 4 feet to save par.

On the green: Solid putt and he manages to scramble and get his par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under; T-14, four off the lead

• • •

Hole No. 6: Par 4, 469 yards

Off the tee: This one's right down the middle.

From the fairway: On the mark again, Tiger hits this one pin high and maybe 10 feet left.

On the green: Tiger jabs at it and finds the bottom of the hole to get into red figures.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 under; T-13, four off the lead

Elsewhere on the course: A birdie at No. 11 lifts Marc Leishman to solo third at 4 under.

• • •

Hole No. 5: Par 3, 200 yards

Off the tee: Tiger should be getting that shot back here – he hits an iron to inside 3 feet for a strong birdie chance.

On the green: The putt, nearly a tap-in, is good and Tiger for the second time already in this round has answered a bogey with an immediate birdie.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even par; T-26, five off the lead.

Elsewhere on the course: Rickie Fowler has four straight pars since his lone birdie of the day at No. 2. The man with the lowest score in golf's three majors so far this season, Fowler is T-12 at 1 under through six holes.

• • •

Hole No. 3: Par 4, 442 yards

Off the tee: Tiger hits it down the right side, over the fairway bunker and it rolls to the center of the fairway.

From the fairway: Landing the ball on the green, Tiger spins it back too far and it rolls off the front.

Around the green: Tiger hits it past the pin here, then rolls his par putt well past again. The comebacker for bogey is true.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over; T-39, six off the lead.

Elsewhere on the course: A birdie-birdie-bogey run just before the turn has Marc Leishman T-2 at 3 under as he heads to Firestone's front nine. He's two back of co-leaders Ryan Moore and Charl Schwartzel.

• • •

Hole No. 3: Par 4, 442 yards

Off the tee: Tiger is in the fairway here, on the right side with some overhanging limbs to deal with.

From the fairway: Tiger finds the left side of the green and safely in range for a textbook par if he gets the speed down pat this time.

On the green: Tiger rolls this one hole high but misses left. He taps in for par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even par; T-25, five off the lead.

Elsewhere on the course: With three bogeys before the turn and four total for his round, Phil Mickelson signs for a 1-over 71 and is T-41.

• • •

Hole No. 2: Par 5, 526 yards

Off the tee: Time for the driver, and Tiger misses this one left.

On the approach: From the first cut – of the neighboring fairway – Tiger reaches the green in two with a fairway wood. It'll be a sizeable eagle try, though.

On the green: From almost 50 feet, Tiger has a good line but misses high – and is long again. This time he makes the comebacker and that's got his round back on track.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even par, T-26 and five off the lead

Elsewhere on the course: Champion Golfer of the Year Rory McIlroy double bogeys No. 8 after some bunker trouble and drops to at even par. He rebounds with a birdie at No. 9 to sign for a 1-under 69 and head in at T-11.

• • •

Hole No. 1: Par 4, 399 yards

Off the tee: Right-center of the fairway for Tiger Woods to start the day, as he goes with a 3-wood. Never mind the length of his backswing, at least for now.

From the fairway: Flagstick hunting hasn't been much of Tiger's repertoire of late, but he gets one inside 10 feet just past and left of the hole here. Good look at birdie.

On the green: You've got to think Tiger wants to convert this and make a statement out of the gate. But it drifts low and runs long; he lips out the comebacker and taps in for bogey.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over par; T-43, six off the lead.

Elsewhere on the course: Keegan Bradley is 4 under on the back nine to get to T-5 at 2 under.

• • •

Update No. 4: 2:18 p.m. EDT

Brandt Snedeker bogeys No. 9 to wrap up a 68 and head to the clubhouse T-5 at 2 under, three back of co-leaders Ryan Moore and Charl Schwartzel.

• • •

Update No. 3: 1:48 p.m. EDT

A double bogey at No. 4 amid trouble around the green and a bogey at No. 5 drop Matt Kuchar to 2 under, three back of co-leaders Ryan Moore and Charl Schwartzel.

Francesco Molinari bogeys No. 17 and finishes at 3 under, tied for second with Patrick Reed (who also is in the clubhouse with a 67) and Brandt Snedeker.

• • •

Update No. 2: 1:24 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar and Charl Schwartzel catch leader Ryan Moore with birdies at Nos. 3 and 7 respectively – in Schwartzel's case, his fourth straight birdie. The three are 5 under, Moore having finished his round at 65.

• • •

Update No. 1: 1:02 p.m. EDT

Ryan Moore birdies No. 8 to take the lead at 5 under as he heads to the last hole of his day. He's a shot ahead of Francesco Molinari, who has three to play.

Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed and Charl Schwartzel are two shots back.

• • •

Early risers

Patrick Reed, who has been slumping of late since winning early in the season, is your leader at 5 under through 12 holes. Matt Kuchar is a shot back and alone in second at 4 under through six holes, while Jimmy Walker is solo third at 3 under through eight holes. At 2 under are Harris English, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari and Ryan Moore.

• • •

Preview coverage

Scott, Woods among expert picks for WGC-Bridgestone

Jim Furyk earns multiple mentions as a contender at this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, although he's not a favorite as World No. 1 Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth are. Check out the rest of our experts' picks!

Woods on his swing: "I can't turn that far"

Tiger Woods not only has the challenge of excelling again after back surgery. He has the hurdle of doing so with a different swing. Different as in shorter. So-called swing experts have made much of the fact that the 14-time major winner’s motion has looked more compact in his six PGA Tour rounds since March 31 microdiscectomy.

What does Woods need to earn FedEx Cup spot?

Because only the top 125 will qualify for The Barclays, Tiger Woods almost assuredly has to have a combination of finishes worth about 400 points to make the top 125 – say, third in this week's WGC-Bridgestone and third again in next week's PGA Championship.

Best cumulative score in majors? So far, Fowler

Though Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy would take what they’ve done in the major championships thus far in 2014 – after all, winning is the goal, isn’t it? – Rickie Fowler has played consistently best. At least according to his scores, because he’s 18 under for his 12 rounds in the 2014 majors. Of the 19 who have made the cut in all three majors, Fowler is the only one with three top 10s (T-5 in the Masters, T-2 in the U.S. Open and Open Championship).

Notes: Bubble boy Watney bets on Reno

Stuart Appleby and Robert Allenby combined for 25 starts in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but they’re both teeing it up this week in something called the Barracuda Championship ( the former Reno-Tahoe Open) – Nick Watney is another who is making a rare opposite-field appearance while sitting 124th in the FedEx Cup standings.

Tiger Woods on British Open: "So many mistakes"

Tiger Woods, appearing Tuesday on Fox Sports 1, detailed how he made "so many mistakes" during his recent British Open play. Speaking with Colleen Dominguez on Fox Sports Live, Woods said the troubles were a continuation of disappointing play in his own Quicken Loans National, where he missed the cut. “Well, I didn’t hit the ball very well; that’s just plain and simple – I made so many mistakes," Woods said. "When I first came back at Congressional I made a ton of mistakes there as well. My thought process was off.

Welcome to Golfweek.com's comments section.
Please review the posting guidlines here: Golfweek.com Community Guidelines.
All accounts must be verified using Disqus email verification