Tiger Woods began the second round of the US Open in second place at 1-under par. He ended with the same score as he grinded his way through 18 up and down holes to shot an even-par 70 for a share of the lead with David Toms and Jim Furyk.
Woods started very steady by paring the first two holes. He then birdied the par three third hole to get his total to 2-under for the outright lead, then inexplicably his round started to hit the skids.
Woods proceeded to bogey three consecutive holes. This left him at 1+ over par after just seven holes into his round.
Surprisingly, Woods was courted at the top of the leader board from 17-year old Beau Hossler. Hossler is a junior at Santa Margarita High School in Southern California. He narrowly missed qualifying for last year's US Open.
Through 13 holes Hossler remarkably had a share of the lead at 1-under par with wily veteran Jim Furyk. But after four bogeys on the back nine he finished at a very respectable 3+ over par heading into the third round.
Yesterday, Woods demonstrated his game and focus has improved in recent weeks. He was consistently driving the ball into the fairway and leaving himself in position to make birdie. Today it was much more of a grind.
Today’s round was a tale of two Tiger Woods. The first Tiger hit shots that reminded us of what use to be as he made several key birdies. The second Tiger was the one who struggled to regain his form in bogeying three consecutive holes very early in his round.
The changes Woods has undergone in the last three years have been well documented with respect to his personal life and how his game has consequently suffered. Despite the sometimes mediocre results and brief bouts demonstrating he’s actually human on the golf course Woods has showed glimpses of the past glory he once routinely summoned upon request.
In terms of his confidence, Woods seems to be eager to prove that he can recapture the form he once consistently held in being far and away the sports best player. When asked if he had a good chance to win this week Woods stated, “Yeah, I think I’m I a good sport Right now I’m in I think I’m tied for the lead. I don’t know what Toms did, but I’m right there I a good spot.”
The third-round could prove pivotal for Woods. If he is to keep himself in position to win he must get off to a better start and eliminate the lapses in his position himself to win.
Dexter Rogers is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.
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