Sights firmly set on his second career Deutsche Bank Championship victory, Tiger Woods took the course on Saturday at TPC Boston in search of a score better than the three-under 68 he recorded on Friday during Round 1.
Tiger bested his Friday score by one stroke in Round 2, collecting five birdies and a bogey en route to a four-under 67 and a two-day score of seven under.
PGA Tour's official Twitter account had this post with the scores from the grouping of Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott after Tiger made a birdie on his final hole of the day:
Tiger buries a long birdie up the hill at 18 for a second-round 67. Phil matches with birdie. 36-hole totals. >> pic.twitter.com/qFUiMowc03— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 31, 2013
Woods is currently six strokes off the pace set by clubhouse leader Sergio Garcia (-13). Garcia stormed to the tournament lead on Saturday with a seven-under 64, one shot off the best round of the day, which was shared by the Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose, who were able put up scores of eight-under 63.
Here's a hole-by-hole breakdown of how the No. 1 golfer in the world performed on Saturday.
Starting the day at three under, Woods knew he needed to make a quick statement through the first few holes to start his afternoon off on the right foot. He failed to do that on Friday, hitting a bogey on the opening hole.
Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker on Twitter expected the first four holes of Woods' second round to be pivotal toward his strategy:
Tiger prob looking for a hot start to his round...1, 2 and 4 all birdie holes. Only able to play them in Even yesterday.— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) August 31, 2013
Although Tiger missed a chance to pick up a stroke by two-putting at No. 2, he responded with a birdie on No. 4. Woods hit a marvelous chip to about 10 feet on the par-four fourth and then sank his putt to go to four under.
He quickly lost that birdie two holes later when he bogeyed No. 6. He responded the same way he did on Friday, though, by turning misfortune into fortitude. At the par-five No. 7, Tiger made up for his previous gaffe with a birdie to keep his round score at one under.
The next five holes went off without a hitch; Woods hit five straight pars heading into the par-four 13th.
Woods would add birdies on No. 16 and No. 18 to wind up with his total score of seven under.
He had to get creative on the par-three 16th, giving the ball a little extra motivation to find the bottom of the cup with a dance move mid-stroke. As noted by the GC's Tiger Tracker, it worked:
Birdie dance worked. Tiger rolls in 10 footer for birdie @ 16. #3under— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) August 31, 2013
PGATour.com's Amanda Balionis had this description of Woods' final birdie of the afternoon:
Tiger rams it into the back of the cup with a 36ft birdie bomb on the 18th to get in the clubhouse at -7 overall— Amanda Balionis (@Amanda_Balionis) August 31, 2013
Heading into Day 2, accuracy was a critical area for Tiger to have an edge—or discredit his chances—over the final three days of action.
As noted by Golf Digest, Woods struggled in each of his four major championship appearances in hitting landmarks in regulation:
In the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods had the lowest accuracy percentage of any player who played in all four majors: http://t.co/qe2vEuiX9Y— Golf Digest (@GolfDigestMag) August 29, 2013
He had no problem with driving accuracy during Round 2, hitting 71.43 percent of his shots off the tee onto the fairway. If Woods can continue that trend during the final two rounds, there's a good chance he'll stay in contention with the current leaders.
Of course, not everyone was impressed with Woods on Saturday.
ESPN's Rob King admittedly spent more time watching Mickelson than he did Woods during the second round:
Tiger's perennial foe and pair mate finished with a two-day score of eight under, giving him a one-stroke edge over Woods on the leaderboard as the action shifts to the third round Sunday in Boston.
Where will Tiger finish?
Consistency has plagued Woods throughout the 2013 season, but he's still managed to win five different PGA Tour events and finished in the top 10 at two of the four majors.
Through two rounds in Boston, Woods has just two bogeys in 36 holes. He can take major strides in his pursuit of the FedEx Cup crown—not to mention a 2014 major—if he continues to prioritize stats such as driving accuracy and greens in regulation.
Although Woods fans everywhere will knock on wood after reading that last sentence, the 37-year-old appears poised to contend over the final two days of action at the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship.
*All stats, videos and scores courtesy PGATour.com. For a complete look at the Round 2 leaderboard, visit PGATour.com.
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