A weather delay for rain and a premature end to Round 1 due to darkness resulted in the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open entering its second day of action with the conclusion of Thursday's opening rounds.
After the dust settled from Round 1 and Day 2's battles concluded, four players had a share of the lead.
Justin Waters, Ian Poulter, Victor Dubuisson and Henrik Stenson all closed the day at 12 under par and tied for first, while American star Tiger Woods rounded out the top five just one shot off the lead (at 11 under).
The tournament from Montgomerie Maxx Royal Course in Antalya, Turkey, has been unpredictable to say the least, but with a beautiful backdrop to a wonderful competition (the inaugural event at this location), this is one of the most notable stops the European Tour will make this season.
Woods struggled with his driver and consistency Thursday, but he found his rhythm Friday morning and finished the first round strong. He carried that momentum into Round 2 and climbed into the heart of the leaderboard.
Woods is a serious threat to win this weekend.
The American star finished Day 2 with an impressive nine-under score after telling the media, via The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), about his first day of action and how the course was playing:
It's a tricky golf course and it helps to have played it numerous times as it is one of those courses where you get a better feel for it the more you play it. However, looking back on my 10½ holes, I probably left a little out there and I see that 7 under par is leading at this stage, so the goal in the holes I have left in the morning is to pick up a few quick birdies.
There was once again turnover in the lead position, but the best player this week looks to be Stenson. The Swedish star has not only dominated on the European Tour but has also dominated on the PGA Tour, winning two of the last three events in 2013 and amassing eight top-10 finishes.
Just like Woods, Stenson will be looking to carry that momentum into the weekend.
While this tournament has been highlighted by the focus on Woods and the rest of the top names, unheralded stars like Ross Fisher, Walters and Dubuisson have each proved their ability in front of the bright lights.
Add the solid play of veterans like Poulter, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose, and this field has the excitement surrounding the event through the roof.
As exciting as it’s been to see the action on the course through the first two days, the realization that at least 30 players are still within striking distance indicates this is going to be a wild week in Turkey.