If he keeps playing like this, Tiger Woods may not be invited back to his own tournament.
Golf's World No. 1, seeking his sixth win at the World Challenge in its last year at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., was locked in on every aspect of his game on Friday afternoon, turning in an unbelievable 10-under 62 to take over first place.
As Jill Painter Lopez of the L.A. Daily News pointed out, he tied a course and tournament record:
Tiger Woods shoots 62 & ties his course and tournament record at Sherwood. He's got the lead, too. Would be fitting to win last tourney here— Jill Painter Lopez (@jillpainter) December 6, 2013
When he finished, the next-best score on the day came from Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, who both carded 68s. Woods, who entered the day in fifth place after a fairly unexciting 71 on Thursday, now has a comfortable lead heading into the weekend.
Here's a look at the leaderboard, courtesy of PGATour.com:
|1||Tiger Woods||-12||-10 (62)|
|2||Zach Johnson||-8||-3 (Thru 14)|
|3||Matt Kuchar||-7||-3 (Thru 15)|
|4||Graeme McDowell||-5||-5 (Thru 17)|
|5||Bubba Watson||-4||-2 (Thru 16)|
After hitting one bogey and two birdies on Thursday, Eldrick flirted with the elusive 59 for a while as he knocked down 10 birdies, zero bogeys and hit every single green in regulation.
He was accurate with his driver, hit a blend of both lasers and feathery approaches with his irons and was rock-solid with his putter, burying multiple birdies from more than 20 feet out.
The 37-year-old, who has hosted this tournament annually since 1999, set the early tone on hole No. 1 with a gorgeous approach shot to within two feet en route to an early birdie:
With the only hole that gave him trouble on Thursday out of the way, Woods proceeded to sprint through the course.
After birdies on holes No. 2 and 4, he proceeded to drain back-to-back 20-foot birdie putts (22 and 27, to be precise) on holes No. 7 and 8 to push him to five-under par through just eight holes:
The back nine was just as dominant. He birdied No. 10 following an approach shot that came within four feet, birdied No. 11, birdied the Par 5 No. 13 after going into the bunker and then did this on No. 14 for yet another birdie:
He added one more birdie on 16 and parred his final two holes, capping off an absolutely masterful performance.
Woods is one of the most polarizing golfers in the world—some want to praise him, some want to criticize him and some want to debate for days on end whether or not he's "back." But on days like these, when he is locked in with every club in his bag, it's best to just sit back and enjoy the show.