Tiger Woods has a share of a lead at a major again, and this time he's not giving it up.
Woods jumped into a three-way tie for the lead with a one-under (71) on Friday. He did so by getting out to a hot start on the greens, and then just holding on late in the day when the wind picked up and his game stared to falter.
However, despite the late round struggles, he still had one of the very few under-par rounds on the day, which is unbelievably impressive considering wind gusts hit 35 mph on the Ocean Course during his afternoon round.
Now, for the third major in a row, Woods is around or on top of the leaderboard heading into Saturday.
At the U.S. Open his second round lead did not turn out well, he finished tied for 21st. At the British, he played better on Saturday, but a terrible Sunday round cost him the Claret Jug.
Now, he has another opportunity to capture his elusive 15th major title. But this time, unlike in his previous attempts, he'll finish the job.
His putting will make all of the difference this time.
At the U.S. Open and the British, Wood's flat stick cost him all weekend. He just couldn't get anything to drop. Birdie putts edged out and par putts always seemed to be hit a fraction too hard or too soft.
However, Wood's putter has been hot thus far at Kiawah.
In round one, Tiger one-putted 12 greens and he did the same on six out of the first seven on Friday.
Then he had a bit of the struggle late in the second round. But that can be attributed to huge wind gusts, which made even the shortest of putts difficult.
It was tough out there. Wow. You can't take anything for granted. A simple tap-in is not a simple tap-in. The putter is oscillating all over the place and the ball is oscillating, and you know you have to make an adjustment. At least I was on my downswing and my putts, because the putter is being blown all over the place.
With that in mind, Woods actually had a very good day on the greens. This bodes very well for Saturday and Sunday.
On the weekends at majors it's all about surviving, and often the guy who wins the title is the one that makes the most long eight and nine footers for par.
Woods has shown the ability to do that thus far. And normally, once he has the speed of the greens, he putts well all tournament long.
This will allow him to hold off a relatively unimpressive leaderboard that features Vijay Singh, Carl Pettersson and Ian Poluter.
Pretty scary group, huh?
Woods has yet to show the magic he displayed during his run of dominance, but on Saturday and Sunday you can expect a return to form.
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