Tiger Woods stopped just as things were getting good in Round 2 of PGA Championship

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Tiger Woods stopped just as things were getting good in Round 2 of PGA Championship

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods stopped just as things were getting good in Round 2 of PGA Championship

ST. LOUIS – Tiger Woods was really doing something and the fans were eating it up, growing louder with each birdie.

Woods started Round 2 of the PGA Championship 10 shots back and dug in, with three birdies in the first five holes. It was a gripping start in the middle of the arena, underneath the Goodyear blimp with Woods charging and building momentum coming up on the par-5 eighth hole with a chance to get to 4 under.

It was easy to miss a mass of troubling clouds forming in the meantime, and the horn blew soon after Woods’ second shot at eight and the best drama in golf was cut off at peak suspense.

He’ll have to sleep on that shot, with play suspended for the day and set to resume at 8 a.m. ET Saturday morning.

Woods laid up after an errant tee shot left of the fairway and put a tee deep in the ground to mark his ball some 50-60 yards short of the green once the horn blew. He’ll put his ball back and take on a straight-forward, up-and-down for birdie to get within six shots of the lead. And he’ll have soft greens to work with considering all the rain that poured down shortly after he walked up the ninth hole, toward the clubhouse and out of sight.

Playing partners Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy were still in the fairway, waiting to go for the green in two. Woods charged past both of them Friday afternoon, with McIlroy stuck at even par and Thomas at 2 under. Major winners and superstars in their own right, they’ve been reduced to supporting roles with Woods playing Bellerive for the first time ever in competition.

Playing it very well over his last 17 holes, at 6 under par.

The problem was a 3-over start through two holes Thursday morning in Round 1, but he weathered the storm and landed safely in the clubhouse with an even-par 70.

Friday’s round had a different feel from the jump, especially when he put everyone on notice and stuck it to 5 feet at the par-3 third. Significant roars followed and Thomas, the defending champion, seemed to be registering his surroundings, just taking this wild atmosphere in.

Woods grooved another one in tight at No. 5 and St. Louis was up for grabs when he converted for birdie from 10 feet. The possibilities were endless from there.

Woods definitely looked like he was going to give one back at the par-3 sixth, losing his tee shot left and leaving his bunker shot short. The remaining 15-foot par putt was a winding downhiller, a low-percentage make for sure. It was Woods’ first significant par putt of the day and he rattled it home, keeping emotions in check when it dropped.

As he said Thursday, this isn’t a sprint.

A collective “OOOOH” went through the gallery when Woods hit the pin with a chip shot just in front of the seventh green, taking a tap-in par and walking across a bridge to the eighth tee box.

A big opportunity to make up more ground awaited.

Woods hit driver off the tee and missed left again, but pitched out in front of the green.

His number into the green will be the same when he returns, the surrounding vibes drastically different. Can he keep the momentum going? Can he actually get back into this thing?

Woods just gave everyone plenty to sleep on.

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