At some point, Tiger Woods fans had to yell "save some for next week" at their televisions, computer monitors or mobile devices. Woods put on a performance for the ages on Friday at the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational. After an otherworldly nine-under 61 on the day, Tiger owns a commanding seven-stroke lead heading into the weekend.
As good as he was on Friday, his round score could have been better. Woods had an outside shot at a 59, but he showed some human flaws on the final three holes.
Still, he finished the day with a magnificent putt from nine yards away, just off the putting surface to secure the 61. Like most of us, the PGA Tour and Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel are in awe of Woods on Friday.
And to cap it off, Tiger runs in a long, downhill par saver from the back fringe. Of course he does. #PGATOUR— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 2, 2013
World-class par on the final hole for Tiger Woods as he posts a course-record-tying 61 and claims a seven-shot lead entering the weekend.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) August 2, 2013
Here's a look at Tiger and the other "leaders" through two rounds:
See the entire leaderboard here.
The PGA Championship begins on Aug. 8 and Woods will continue his relentless pursuit of another major championship. He can only hope some of the brilliance he's shown at Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio, spills over to Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., next week.
All stats are from PGATour.com.
How good was Woods on Friday, take these numbers into consideration:
|Stats||Round 1||Round 2||Total||Rank|
|GIR (Greens in Regulation)||88.89%||72.22%||80.56%||T1|
|Putts per GIR||1.625||1.385||1.517||2|
Woods has been as dominant as he has been in years past through two days in Akron. Even if he were to play significantly worse than he's played on Thursday and Friday, it would be tough for anyone to catch him.
Watch Woods drain this 14-foot putt for birdie on the 13th hole.
Perhaps, the greatest example of Woods' brilliance from Friday was the eagle on the second hole. After placing his 217-yard approach shot within 20 feet of the hole, Woods sank the putt to gain two strokes.
Kyle Porter of CBS Sports knows Woods has probably wrapped this thing up already.
I'm guessing Tiger's record when having a six or seven shot lead going to the weekend is pretty solid.— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) August 2, 2013
Mere Mortals Who Would Be Contending on a Normal Day
Maybe the 25-year-old Englishman is just missing the "s" in his surname. If that's the case, that one letter is worth about seven strokes.
It is a bummer for Wood that one of the best two-round stretches of his career coincided with Woods' near historic round. Here's one of Wood's best shots of the day, a 13-foot birdie on the 16th hole.
Despite following up a four-under 66 on the first day with a two-under 68, Wood is still trailing Tiger by seven strokes.
It would take a monumental performance from Wood and a complete collapse from Woods if the youngster hopes to catch the legend.
Who has the best chance at catching Tiger?
Count Bradley amongst the unlucky as well. He duplicated Wood's performance from the first two days. Were it not for two bogeys on the front nine, Bradley would have had an even better day.
He finished strong with three birdies on the back nine to maintain a strong performance.
Bradley destroyed the ball off the tee on Friday. His average drive was 345.2 yards, per PGATour.com. Had he been a little more accurate than 57.14 percent with his driver, he may be a little closer to Woods.
Others Still Playing for Second Place
Sitting just one stroke behind Bradley and Wood, Haas had a good day when he needed a great one. He bogeyed the 14th hole while seemingly playing conservative throughout the round.
He took some power off his drives to gain a bit of accuracy. It helped as his driving accuracy rose from 57.14 to 71.43 percent, but he wasn't finding greens on his second shots with enough regularity to keep pace with the field on Friday.
Here, he knocks in the birdie on the par-five second hole. He had a shot at an eagle, but settled for gaining just one stroke.
Haas' greens in regulation dipped from 72.22 to 61 percent. It is hard to be too critical of a guy sitting at five-under through two rounds, but Woods has raised the bar considerably this week.
On a day when par for the course simply wouldn't do, that's exactly what Stenson produced. His 70 on Friday took away the momentum he had after a five-under 65 left him one shot ahead of Tiger after the first round.
When the guy you're barely leading by a stroke is nine shots better the following day, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out you're probably out of contention.
Follow me for sports news, rumors, results and spirited opinions.